Senior Living



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

Social Security and You: Privacy Laws and Social Security

Social Security's privacy laws are a topic I've covered in past columns. But I can tell from my emails that it's time I do so again.

I recall my days as a trainee with the Social Security Administration. And gosh, that was more than 50 years ago now! The very first thing drilled into our heads was that a law called the Privacy Act prevented us ...Read more

Social Security and You: Spousal and Survivors Benefits for Men

In the past 27 years, I bet I have written hundreds of columns explaining spousal and widows benefits that are available to women on a husband's Social Security account. And usually if I have enough space, I try to squeeze in a line that says the same benefits are available to husbands and widowers, even though I know those benefits to men are ...Read more

Social Security and You: You Are Being Paid Properly

In my 32 years of experience working for the Social Security Administration and the 27 years I've been writing this column, one of the more common complaints I've heard from people goes something like this: "I don't think I am getting the right Social Security benefit amount. It's less than it should be." Or like this: "Based on what all my ...Read more

Social Security and You: Book Updates

Over the past couple of months, hundreds of you have written to me because you've had trouble getting my book called "Social Security: Simple and Smart" from Amazon. And other times, the problem was that you wanted to get the 2024 edition of the book and you were sent a prior edition.

I won't bother sharing with you the tales of woe my ...Read more

Social Security and You: That's Not What I Meant To Say

I've always taken pride in the fact that I do a pretty good job of explaining Social Security rules in simple and easy-to-understand language. But every once in a while, I'm reminded that something I say or write that I think is pretty clear and simple can be misinterpreted. Here are some examples.

Q: I am 62 and have spent most of my life as a...Read more

Social Security and You: Geezers, Floozies and Valentines

This column should be coming out around Valentine's Day. And it was 50 years ago, on Valentine's Day, that my soon-to-be wife and I went out on our first date. How that came about makes for a cute story.

I had just started working for the Social Security office in the small farming community of Litchfield, Illinois. I had moved there from my ...Read more

Social Security and You: Retirees With 'Disabled Adult Children'

This is going to be a column about DACs. And what's that? It's the abbreviation the Social Security Administration uses to refer to "disabled adult children." Here is some background.

Since almost the beginning of the Social Security program in the 1930s, minor children have qualified for benefits on a retiree's record. A child gets an amount ...Read more

Social Security and You: How Your Retirement Benefit Is Calculated

Q. Even though I'm not on Social Security, I've been reading your column for years. A while back, I had clipped out a column you wrote explaining how benefits are figured. And now that I'm getting ready to file for benefits, I can't find that column. Can you please reprint it? And I also have a question. I do recall that you said a benefit is ...Read more

Social Security and You: What We Expect From Government

I have been writing this column since 1997. So this will be my 27th year of helping people better understand all the intricacies of the various Social Security programs. But I was recently reminded I've been doing that a long longer. While cleaning out my desk, I discovered a folder of newspaper columns I wrote way back in the 1980s while ...Read more



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