Just two weeks ago, I wrote a column answering questions from divorced women. Obviously, I left a lot of questions unanswered because my email inbox has been flooded with inquiries about Social Security benefits for divorcees.
Q: I am about to turn 70. When I was 66, I filed for wife's benefits on my ex-husband's Social Security record. Someone...Read more
Q: I took my Social Security at age 62 so my 14-year-old son and his 55-year-old mother could get benefits on my record. My son is about to turn 16. So his mother will no longer be eligible for benefits. But my son's checks were coming in my wife's name. Will I have to go to our Social Security office to get the checks made out in my name?
A: ...Read more
All of today's questions come from, or are about, women who are divorced. So let me make this general point first. The law says a divorced woman, who was married to her ex-husband for a minimum of 10 years, is due essentially the same benefits as a woman who is currently married to her husband. In a nutshell, that means a divorced woman can get ...Read more
Q: I have a brother-in-law who is a scoundrel in my books. I just don't know what my sister sees in this guy. Back when he was in his 40s, he was convicted of defrauding the Social Security disability program. I know he paid a fine and even served some jail time. That was about 20 years ago. Now he is about to turn 62 and according to my sister,...Read more
Most people reading this column have probably heard the government announcement that Social Security checks will go up next year because of the automatic inflation-adjustment rules built into the law. But how much will they go up?
Well, here are two headlines I read that answer the question in very different ways. First, there was this one: "...Read more
I spent part of my 32-year career with the Social Security Administration as a public affairs specialist in San Diego. A big aspect of that job was running around town giving speeches to various groups and organizations. As you might guess, that involved a lot of trips to senior centers and other places where older folks might hang out. It also ...Read more
You are probably reading this column sometime in early October, which is when I always think of my mom. Her birthday was Oct. 1. She's been dead for about 20 years now. But when I think of her, two things I remember involve her relationship with Social Security.
The first is just a cute story. I started working for the Social Security ...Read more
Last week, I tried to answer as many questions as I could in the limited space I have. But I ran out of column before I ran out of queries. So this week, more relatively short and concise answers to reader's questions.
Q: I am 61. I plan to wait until I am 70 before I start my Social Security. My wife is 66 and already getting her Social ...Read more
Errabundis [Kindle Edition]Carol Budinger
This epic fantasy of love and transformation tells of The Lorilex, poised to destroy the world. But in the far off, dusty caravan town of Errabundis a powerful force for good is cloaked within an ordinary life. A life that must be awoken to itself if the world is to ...
Because Social Security rules can be so confusing to so many people, and because it can take some time to explain those rules, I usually spend an entire column trying to clarify just one topic. But every once in a while, I like to give short and quick answers to as many questions as possible covering a wide array of subjects.
Q: I am turning 66...Read more
I sure am glad President Trump isn't considering me to be the new head of the Social Security Administration. What a thankless job! As about 10,000 people retire every day, and as thousands more file for disability and survivor benefits, the agency's workforce keeps dwindling. And it's going to get worse.
Trump considers it his mandate to ...Read more
I wouldn't know how to go about getting accurate information about this issue, but based on the emails I receive, I'd guess that 75 percent of my readers are women. Here are some example emails.
Q: I am 75 years old and getting widow's benefits from my first husband, who died many years ago. I was married a second time for 20 years to another ...Read more
Take My Social Security Advice ... Not My Financial Advice
I've discussed this issue before in this column. I am a Social Security expert. But I am NOT a financial planner. I give people all the facts, and then let them decide, sometimes in consultation with a real financial planner, exactly when they should start their Social Security checks. ...Read more
I haven't seen any demographic numbers on this issue, but if the emailed questions I'm getting from golden years parents are any indication, then I think the number of senior citizens with young children at home is growing.
I'm not talking about older folks raising one or more of their grandkids. That's an issue I've discussed many times in ...Read more