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Social Security and You: Trump and the Future of Social Security

My inbox has been inundated with emails from worried senior citizens who tell me they have heard that President Donald Trump will end Social Security if he is reelected and that the trust funds will dry up in 2023 and all Social Security checks will stop going out.

I can't imagine the president has plans to end Social Security. But it doesn't ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security -- Don't Drop the Ball

I frequently get emails from people who have lost out on Social Security benefits they might have been due. And they are looking for somebody to blame. They usually don't like it when I have to turn around and tell them it is their fault.

I'm not a huge sports fan. In fact, it's interesting that, in our family, my son and I are just barely ...Read more

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

I'm going to start this column at the bottom! Or, rather, with the bottom-line message I want to deliver today: Whenever you think you might be due any kind of Social Security benefit, insist on filing a claim for that benefit. You have every right to do so. Before I clarify that message, let me give you some background.

For part of my 32-year ...Read more

Social Security and You: Internet Lies About Social Security Never Go Away

There are so many Social Security-bashing screeds floating around on the internet. Some are full of a few half-truths, but most are outright lies. I could spend every one of my weekly columns just trying to set the record straight.

These things get passed around via emails from one gullible and naive nitwit to the next. Today, I'm going to ...Read more

Social Security and You: The Windfall Elimination Provision Should NOT Be Repealed

My inbox has been flooded with emails from retired or soon-to-be retired public employees who don't even pay into Social Security. They are writing to complain about a law called the Windfall Elimination Provision, or the WEP, that reduces any Social Security benefits they have earned while working at other jobs where Social Security taxes were ...Read more

Social Security and You: Benefits for Grandchildren -- Don't Count On It!

One of the joys of growing older is the opportunity to play Grandma or Grandpa. My wife and I have five grandchildren, and each of them brings a smile to our faces and a nice warm glow to our hearts -- at least a good percentage of the time! One of the big advantages to grandparenting is that you get to play with them and bounce them on your ...Read more

Social Security and You: 'My Husband ... He's Dead!'

Occasionally, I like to take a break from the routine of covering the same old Social Security questions over and over again. A couple of months ago, I wrote a column in which I shared a funny story involving my first day on the job as a newly minted clerk for the Social Security Administration. I got so many emails from readers who enjoyed that...Read more

Social Security and You: Benefits for Spouses and Widows Are Sometimes Controversial

I'm going to start out today's column by answering a question from a reader about her potential eligibility for benefits from one of her prior husbands' Social Security accounts. I am going to follow that up with typical comments I always get from other readers who are critical of these kinds of benefits.

Q: I have worked most of my life, but I...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Rules (Not Reps) Confuse Readers

Anyone who has read my column for any length of time knows that I have occasionally been critical of some of my former colleagues at the Social Security Administration for misleading people with misinformation about Social Security programs and policies.

But I totally understand that, many times, people who tell me they have been misled by an ...Read more

Social Security and You: The COVID-19 Virus and Social Security

Q: I keep hearing all this talk about how the COVID-19 virus is going to reduce future Social Security benefits. But I can't figure out why. Can you explain it to me?

A: I'll give it a shot. But before I do, let me make a couple of important points. First, if the virus affects anyone's Social Security, it probably will be just a small cohort of...Read more

Social Security and You: Federal Employees and Social Security

Q. I am a retired federal employee. I retired when I was 58. I started getting my federal retirement and Social Security at that time. I am about to turn 62. I was told that I have to contact a Social Security office and get my benefit changed. Can you explain that?

A. I'm going to start out by giving you half an answer. Then I'm going to give ...Read more

Social Security and You: Mixing Apples, Oranges and Kumquats

Q: In a recent column, you said that someone's Social Security check might go down if they are still working while getting Social Security checks. You must be talking about taxes, because my husband is 69 and still working, and he gets an increase every year in his benefits. So, can you please clarify things for us?

A: You've probably heard the...Read more

Social Security and You: The Bad Old Days

My wife and I have been doing a little downsizing lately. One thing we decided we can live without is the rather large collection of books we've accumulated over the past 46 years. We are donating most of them to our local library. But as I looked through the old books, I reread one of them, and it struck a chord with me. It's an autobiography ...Read more

 

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