Senior Living



Social Security and You: Why Should You Believe Me?

I frequently hear from readers who tell me about Social Security-related advice they got from a friend or relative, or from a Social Security Administration representative. They are writing to ask me if the information they received is correct. Sometimes it is. But many times, it's not. Actually, let me clarify that. Social Security information ...Read more

Social Security and You: Sometimes, You Just Can't Win

I'll tell you this: Sometimes, you just can't win. I've learned over the years that you have to have a pretty thick skin to be a Social Security columnist. And that's because people will frequently misread something I write, or they will take something I said the wrong way, and then they let me have it by sending me an email chewing me out for ...Read more

Social Security and You: Nothing That Special About Age 70

I wrote a recent column in which I pointed out that waiting until 70 to start your Social Security, which is the mantra of almost everyone who is trying to "maximize" their retirement benefit, is not always the smartest move.

But still many people insist on waiting until that alleged magic age to draw their first Social Security check. Today's ...Read more

Social Security and You: Women Married to Jerks

If my emails are any indication, there sure are a lot of rotten husbands out there! That's why I keep telling my wife she should fall down on her knees everyday and thank her lucky stars that she got one of the good guys. OK, I really don't do that. In fact, if I did say that to my wife, the only reason she might drop to her knees is because she...Read more

Social Security and You: More Mailbag Questions

Last week, instead of writing a column centered around just one Social Security topic, I decided to just reach into my electronic mailbag (my email inbox) and answer whatever questions I pulled out of there. But I ran out of column space before I ran out of questions. So today, more random Social Security questions and answers.

Q: I filed for ...Read more

Social Security and You: Reach in the Mailbag

I usually like to write columns centered on one particular Social Security topic. But every once in a while, I just like to reach into my email inbox and answer whatever questions I pull out of that online mailbag.

Q: I am 82. My wife is 80. We both took our benefits at 66. I get $2,444 per month. She gets $1,670. If I die, what will my wife ...Read more

Social Security and You: Happy Birthday to Me

I'm submitting this column to the newspapers on my birthday. I was born June 22, 1949. That makes me 73 years old. And I'm kind of surprised I made it this far. Why? Because I didn't inherit the best of genes. My dad died at the age of 47. He had six brothers. And of those six uncles of mine, only one of them lived past the age of 60. So again, ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Benefits Are Not Prorated

Q: It has always puzzled me why Social Security takes back a person's Social Security check for the month he or she dies. My aunt died in April, and as her executor, I was counting on using her last Social Security check to pay off some of her bills. But the government took that money away from me. Can you explain that?

A: Simply put, the law ...Read more

Social Security and You: Sometimes Waiting Until 70 Doesn't Make Sense

Older adults across the country are bombarded with invitations to attend seminars that allegedly will clue them in on a supposed "secret" to maximizing their Social Security benefits. Well, if you're one of those folks, I can save you the trouble of getting out of the house and traipsing across town to take in one of these little gatherings. ...Read more

Social Security and You: Earnings After Retirement May or May Not Increase Your Social Security Check

Q: I am 73 and still working part time. I took my Social Security at age 66. I have never seen an increase in my Social Security check, even though I am still paying into the system. What's up?

A: To understand whether the earnings you have, and the taxes you pay, after you start getting Social Security will increase your benefits, you have to ...Read more

Social Security and You: Explaining WEP and GPO

Let me start out by saying that I hope the editors of the various publications that print my column keep the terms "WEP" and "GPO" in the headline. Why? Because those abbreviations mean a lot to a certain group of my readers.

I'll explain what those abbreviations stand for in a minute. But first, who makes up this specialized group of readers? ...Read more

Social Security and You: There's a Reason for All the Rules

Sometimes readers take me to task for not explaining a particular facet of the law when I write a column about some Social Security topic or another. I usually respond by pointing out that if I tried to cover every "if, and or but" associated with whatever Social Security topic I am trying to explain, my column would fill up half the newspaper ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security for Divorced Women

My wife and I and a group of our neighbors were chatting the other day, and it dawned on us that there are eight houses in a row on our block in which each of the couples has been married for more than 50 years! Well, not quite. My wife and I are the "newlyweds" on the street. We've only been married 48 years. But the other seven couples have ...Read more



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