Senior Living



Social Security and You: The Windfall Elimination Provision

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about something called the "government pension offset." It is a law that essentially says this: If you get a pension from a job that was not covered by Social Security, that pension will be treated just like a Social Security retirement pension and it will be used to offset any benefits you might be due on a ...Read more

Social Security and You: A Special Rule for Widows and Widowers

Here is a special message to all Social Security representatives reading this column. You are right when you tell customers that as a general rule, they cannot file for reduced benefits on one record and later switch to full benefits on another record. But if you are talking to a widow or widower, that rule does not apply.

I've heard from four ...Read more

Social Security and You: What to Do When Someone Dies

Q: I know you've written columns about how to handle Social Security affairs after someone dies. In fact, I had clipped one of those columns and saved it. But now I can't find it. Sadly, my husband, who is in hospice care, isn't expected to live long. Could you possibly send me a copy of that column? (And just so you know, we are both in our 80s...Read more

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

Regular readers of this column know that one of the messages I preach is this: "You have every right to file a claim for any kind of Social Security benefit you think you might be eligible for."

Even though I deliver that message often, I sometimes worry that it falls on deaf ears. But two emails I got this week helped me to realize that at ...Read more

Social Security and You: Disability Myths

There are so many misconceptions about the Social Security disability program. I've written a book called "Social Security: 100 Myths and 100 Facts." It puts to rest all the crazy rumors that are out there about the entire Social Security program. But I could probably write another book just setting the record straight about Social Security ...Read more

Social Security and You: Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice

Do any of you remember the movie: "Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice?" It came out in 1969 and starred Robert Culp and Natalie Wood as a trendy West Coast couple who were trying to talk a not-so-hip, straight-laced couple, played by Elliott Gould and Dyan Cannon, into a wife-swapping arrangement.

So, what does wife-swapping have to do with Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: Going to the Top Is the Wrong Way

Let's say you own a Honda Civic and you've got a problem with it. Maybe it leaks oil, or maybe it has trouble starting. Would you go to Honda's headquarters in Minato City, Japan, to get it fixed? Of course not. You'd go to your local Honda dealer.

Or maybe you've got a Maytag washing machine that's on the fritz. Would you contact Maytag's ...Read more

Social Security and You: Commissioner Who?

For reasons that will become clear at the end of this column, I am updating another column I wrote about four years ago.

I am going to give you a series of names. I would give any reader a hundred bucks if he or she could tell me who they are and what they all have in common. Here are the names. Stanford Ross. William Driver. John Svahn. Martha...Read more

Social Security and You: History of Social Security

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the history of the Social Security number. I was surprised by the number of people who enjoyed it. And more than a few of you asked me for more columns with a historical bent, so I thought: Why not the history of Social Security itself?

As you might guess, there are more than a few books about the history...Read more

Social Security and You: Yes, Rich People Should Get Social Security

I get lots of emails from readers expressing sentiments similar to what these guys recently sent me: "Why should rich people get Social Security? I think it's just morally wrong that wealthy people should be able to collect a Social Security check!" Here is another example: "Why all the fuss about Social Security going broke? We could save the ...Read more

Social Security and You: Benefits for Spouses

I think I get more questions about benefits for spouses than I do about any other kind of Social Security benefit. And even though I'm using the gender-neutral term, "spouses," these questions almost always come from women wondering what benefits they might be due on their husband's -- or ex-husband's -- Social Security record. Or they come from...Read more

Social Security and You: Ungrateful Greedy Geezers

Sometimes people bug me. Today I'm going to share some recent email exchanges I had with two people who bothered me. They both were spouting the same "get the government off my back" and "the government is out to squeeze every last nickel out of us" rhetoric, but neither of them realized how hypocritical their complaints were. I'm going to call ...Read more

Social Security and You: Customers Give SSA a Thumbs Up

Q: In a recent column, you highlighted some harsh words from a guy who was critical of the government in general and the Social Security Administration in particular.

I just wanted to tell you that my recent experience with the SSA filing a claim for retirement benefits could not have gone more smoothly. I used the online application process, ...Read more



Dave Granlund Poorly Drawn Lines Rhymes with Orange 1 and Done Hi and Lois Crankshaft