Senior Living


Health & Spirit

Social Security and You: My Annual COLA Column

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

Social Security and You: High School Kids and Social Security

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

Social Security and You: Social Security and My Mom

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

Social Security and You: More Questions, More Answers

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

Social Security and You: Short and Quick

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

Social Security and You: Do You Really Want a Shrunken SSA?

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

Answers for Women About Social Security

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

Social Security and You: Take My Social Security Advice ... Not My Financial Advice

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

Social Security and You: Questions from Seniors with Kids

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

Social Security and You: When to Actually File for Social Security Retirement Benefits

For some reason, I have been getting an awful lot of questions lately from seniors who are fretting about exactly when to sign up for Social Security benefits.

I'm not talking about people who are undecided about when to start their benefit checks -- I have written countless columns discussing that. I'm talking about people who have decided ...Read more

Social Security and You: Prisoners Do NOT Get Social Security

Q: I was in my local Social Security office recently. While I was sitting in the waiting room, I noticed a pamphlet on a table that was titled, "What Prisoners Need to Know about Social Security." If we are handing out Social Security checks to deadbeats sitting in prison who already get free room and board supplied by taxpayers, no wonder the ...Read more

Social Security and You: Leaving the Country? Read This Booklet!

I discussed this issue about six months ago. But for some reason, my email inbox continues to be crammed with questions from older folks who say they are planning to move overseas and want to know what happens with their Social Security benefits once they pack their bags and head to some exotic foreign locale.

Maybe some people are starting to ...Read more

Social Security and You: Explaining Medicare Card Codes

Q: My wife and I are both on Social Security and Medicare. Her Medicare card has my Social Security number with a "B" after it. When I die, I know she will get widow's benefits. But will she continue to get Medicare on my record?

A: Yes, she will continue to get Medicare on your record. The only thing that will change is that she will get a new...Read more


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