Senior Living



Social Security and You: Common Questions

I recently did a radio show, and the host asked me what the most common questions I get are. I told her they can be divided into two broad categories: politically oriented questions (usually about the financing of Social Security) and program-related questions (mostly about Social Security benefits). She told me to stick with the latter. I ...Read more

Social Security and You: Don't Fret Over Social Security Starting Date

I am always hearing from readers who are hung up on making sure they start their Social Security benefits at precisely their full retirement age. Or at precisely the age of 70. They don't want those benefits a month before. They don't want them a month after. They want to make darn sure that their benefits start at exactly the month they chose ...Read more

Social Security and You: Flipping Benefits Usually Not Possible

Women who have a smaller Social Security benefit than their husbands have frequently asked me if they can take their own reduced retirement benefit at 62 and then at full retirement age, switch to a full spousal benefit from their husband.

The answer is almost always no. But that is assuming the husband is already getting his own Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: Still Nifty at 50!

My wife and I are celebrating 50 years of wedded bliss! I wrote a column similar to this one on our 45th anniversary. I did it then because I was worried we weren't going to make it to 50 -- not because of any marital discord but because of health issues. For you see, I inherited some terrible longevity genes. My dad died at the age of 47. And I...Read more

Social Security and You: Insist On Filing a Claim for Benefits

In a recent survey I conducted, my readers gave the Social Security Administration outstanding marks for the services they provide. Still, that doesn't mean that no one encounters any problems dealing with them.

I bring this up again because, despite the survey results, I continue to hear from readers who tell me that they contacted the SSA ...Read more

Social Security and You: You Must Pay In To Get Something Out

More than a few people are just bound and determined to believe the worst about the government in general and about the Social Security system in particular.

Here is one example of that. In my recent survey of the services provided by the Social Security Administration, hundreds of my readers praised the agency and gave it an average rating of ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Administration Services - The People Speak

In last week's column, I shared the results of a survey I conducted with my readers in which I asked you to rate the service you got from the Social Security Administration using the ubiquitous star system: 5 stars for good service down to 1 star for poor service. I got more than 200 responses. And your responses averaged out to 4.5 stars.

Many...Read more

Social Security and You: Survey Says 4.5 Stars

Well, the votes are in. Several weeks ago, I asked my readers to rate the service they got from the Social Security Administration in the form of stars: 5 stars for good service down to 1 star for poor service. More than 250 of you responded. And the overall rating averaged out to a solid 4.5 stars.

This is much higher than I would have guessed...Read more

Social Security and You: Public Employees Are NOT Being Cheated by Offsets

A month or so ago, I wrote a column about people who mistakenly think they are being cheated by the Social Security Administration out of benefits they believe they are due.

But one group I didn't mention in that column are the biggest complainers of all: public employees such as teachers and police officers in certain states, many of whom don'...Read more

Social Security and You: Foreign-Born Parents Not Mooching Off the Social Security System

Q: I am sick and tired of all these people who bring their parents over here from foreign countries and then immediately put them on their Social Security account. No wonder Social Security is going broke! I personally know two couples in my neighborhood who get Social Security. They brought their parents up from Mexico and now they are mooching...Read more

Social Security and You: Divorced Man's Guide to Social Security

Over the 27 years I've been writing this column, I have probably written a hundred columns directed at divorced women. But after answering emails from men who had questions about benefits for divorcees, it dawned on me that I've never written a column for divorced men. Today, I'll make up for that.

I should point out that I will be ...Read more

Social Security and You: How Many Stars for Social Security Service?

I've been writing this column for about 27 years. And more than a few times, I took my former agency, the Social Security Administration, to task for sometimes falling down on the job. That's because I frequently hear from readers complaining about misinformation they received from Social Security representatives or about service issues -- ...Read more

Social Security and You: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

In today's column, I'm going to talk about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Despite what many people think, these government programs are not like three peas in a pod. They are more like a pea, a bean and a stalk of celery. In other words, they are all sort of connected because they are government programs that sometimes have an ...Read more



Drew Sheneman 1 and Done A.F. Branco Wallace The Brave Curtis Between Friends