Q: I just turned 71 years old. I have been getting Social Security since I was 66. I was having trouble making ends meet and I recently took a job doing some consulting work. I just got my first paycheck, and I was surprised to learn they are taking Social Security taxes out of my paycheck. I thought once you are getting Social Security, you no ...Read more
After I published a recent column discussing possible Social Security reforms, lots of people wrote to tell me that no changes would be needed to the system if benefits were paid only to people who "deserve" Social Security. I am always intrigued, and usually a little perturbed, by such allegations. They usually come from people who tell me that...Read more
Most people are correct to think that they will be ahead financially to wait until age 66, or maybe even until age 70, to claim their Social Security benefits. But for that small cadre of retired folks who still have minor children at home, the addition of those dependents to the Social Security account can make for a whole different perspective...Read more
Q: I am about to turn age 64. I have been laid off and do not think I will be able to find another job. So I am thinking about starting my Social Security benefits. And it dawned on me that I have no idea how my benefit is figured. Is it based on my earnings? Is it based on my age? Please help!
A: It's based on both your earnings and your age. ...Read more
I am constantly amazed! I have either worked for the Social Security Administration, or been writing a column about Social Security issues, for about 44 years. And you would think that in all of that time, I have bumped up against almost every possible Social Security scenario one could imagine.
Yet, just recently, I received two emails from ...Read more
Can Americans double or even triple their incomes this year? With no special skills and no investment you could go out and start earning income online today with a new program..... Read more
In a recent column, I explained to readers who are under 66 and working how they could work with Social Security's complicated earnings penalty rules to avoid the oftentimes nightmarish bureaucratic hassles involved in dealing with the Social Security Administration on these antiquated laws. (Rather than rehash the whole story, I suggest that ...Read more
I am always surprised at the number of people who are so darn intent on squeezing every last nickel they can out of their Social Security benefits. I get that people want to get all the benefits for which they are eligible. But some folks seem absolutely obsessed about the issue. I swear they must lie awake at night, worrying about decisions ...Read more
Well, let's see if I get in trouble again! Today's question comes from a retiree who plans to return to work and is worried about how his earnings might jeopardize his eligibility for his Social Security benefits.
It's a question I'm often asked. And my usual answer doesn't exactly follow the Social Security Administration playbook. In the past...Read more
Confessions of an AssassinLinda Heavner Gerald
At the end of her life, Catherine Carnegie reflects over her extraordinary past. An old college acquaintance kept surfacing in her life with enticements to join a secret government agency. Washington galas, attended by the beautiful and wealthy, created excitement and danger which worked as a...
Q: I am 76. I have a much younger wife. She is 51. She has never worked outside the home. What will she get when I die? How about Medicare?
A: I am sure there are some advantages to having a much younger spouse. But from a Social Security perspective, "robbing the cradle" has its drawbacks.
Your wife won't be due any benefits on your record ...Read more
Q: You've written in past columns that the SSI program is not a Social Security benefit. But my sister is getting SSI. And when she gets letters about her payments, they come from the Social Security office. So how can you say SSI has nothing to do with Social Security?
A: To answer your question, let me give you a little history lesson. Back ...Read more
They say we are living in the "post-truth" era -- a time when discussion and debate is framed by appeals to emotion rather than verifiable facts. This, of course, is nothing new. Throughout history, more than a few politicians have ridden a populist wave of half-truths and outright deception to places of power, sometimes all the way to the White...Read more
I write a column similar to this one every January. But I don't mind plagiarizing myself because it contains a very important message for people planning to retire in 2017.
January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching 66, their so-called full retirement age, in 2017. The ...Read more
It has been my custom for most of the past 18 years to write a year-end column that summarizes the Social Security changes and updates scheduled to take place the following year.
Almost all Social Security beneficiaries are familiar with the most popular and publicized upcoming change: the increase in monthly benefit checks for 2017 due to the ...Read more