Senior Living

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Health & Spirit

Social Security and You: Identity Theft and Social Security

Q: My daughter recently had problems with a stolen purse and with someone possibly using her Social Security number. She went to the Social Security office and she was told to contact credit reporting agencies and possibly the police. And they gave her some website to look up. It seems to me they should have done more. Can't they just cancel her...Read more

Social Security and You: Am I a Shill or a Critic for SSA Service?

I figure I must be doing something right when I get back-to-back emails from readers criticizing me for allegedly voicing diametrically opposite viewpoints. First, there was this little gem.

Q: You just think the Social Security Administration is perfect in every way, don't you? I just want you to know that there is a lot of bad information out...Read more

Social Security and You: Taking Care of Mom in a Mom and Pop Business

Q: My husband and I run a small business. We are in our early 50s. Our profits are modest, but usually enough to reach the Social Security taxable maximum. For years now, my husband has reported all the income under his name for Social Security purposes. We do this for two reasons. One: We think we will come out ahead if he has a bigger Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: When in Doubt, Always File a Claim

Q: I want to thank you so much for helping me out. A few months ago, I gave you the particulars of our situation. I won't repeat all the numbers, but my husband's benefit is substantially more than my own. You said that based on the figures I gave you, I might be due extra spousal support. I went to my local Social Security office. The clerk ...Read more

Social Security and You: An Apology -- 25 Years Later

I just got an email that absolutely floored me. Honestly, it even brought a lump to my throat. It has to do with something that happened about 25 years ago, while I was working for the Social Security Administration in San Diego, California. Frankly, it was a rather routine occurrence for me back then, and still is today. Let me explain -- and ...Read more

Social Security and You: The 'Three-Legged Stool' Is a Bit Wobbly

I'm sure most people reading this column have heard the term, "the three-legged stool." That refers to the platform upon which your retirement portfolio is to be built. One of those legs represents your Social Security benefit. The second leg is savings and investments. And the third leg propping you up in retirement is a company pension.

Well,...Read more

Social Security and You: Observant Reader Notices Fluke in COLA Payments

Q: The recent cost-of-living adjustment to our Social Security checks got me wondering about something. As you've always pointed out in your column, the checks come one month behind. So, for example, the check we got in January is actually the payment for December. But the 2018 COLA increase showed up in that January check. So did we get the ...Read more

Social Security and You: Inspector General's Report Causes Confusion for Widows

The inspector general for the Social Security Administration recently released a report that was well-intentioned, but that has sewn confusion among millions of women collecting Social Security widow's benefits. What the report said was that a small percentage of widows were not informed by SSA clerks of a provision that could have resulted in ...Read more

Social Security and You: 'Notch Babies' Now Reaching Century Mark -- and They Are Still Mad!

There is a group of very old people out there who, for decades now, has been misled into believing that they are being cheated out of Social Security benefits. I'm talking about folks who are now pushing the century mark -- in their mid-to-late 90s and beyond. And that means that for 30 or 40 years now, they have been carrying a grudge against ...Read more

Social Security and You: Working While Getting Disability Benefits

Q: I am 57 years old and getting Social Security disability benefits. I understand I can work and make $46,000 and still keep my disability checks. But how much can I make when I reach age 62?

A: I'm afraid you've really got things mixed up. The $46,000 figure you cite applies to retirees in the year they turn age 66. And nothing is going to ...Read more

Social Security and You: I'm a Hit with the Ladies!

I'Don't tell my wife, but if my inbox is any indication, I'm a big hit with the ladies! I have a hunch I get more emails from women around the country than any other old goat my age who isn't rich or famous. Alas, they are just asking boring old Social Security questions. Here's the latest batch.

Q: You write a very confusing column. You ...Read more

Social Security and You: More Questions About Benefit Start Dates

Q: I will be turning 70 in July 2018. I wanted to delay starting my Social Security benefits until then. When should I apply? And will I get any retroactive benefits?

A: You should sign up for Social Security benefits two to three months before you want your benefits to start. You said you wanted to wait until age 70, in other words, July, to ...Read more

Social Security and You: Shutdown Silliness

As I am writing this, the government is in the middle of another of its silly shutdown soap operas. But my hunch is that by the time you read this, the shutdown will be over. The news seems to indicate that Congress will pass a temporary funding measure that will last until about Feb. 8, when we may very well go through this all over again.

I'm...Read more

 
 

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