Because Social Security rules can be so confusing to so many people, and because it can take some time to explain those rules, I usually spend an entire column trying to clarify just one topic. But every once in a while, I like to give short and quick answers to as many questions as possible covering a wide array of subjects.
Q: I am turning 66...Read more
I sure am glad President Trump isn't considering me to be the new head of the Social Security Administration. What a thankless job! As about 10,000 people retire every day, and as thousands more file for disability and survivor benefits, the agency's workforce keeps dwindling. And it's going to get worse.
Trump considers it his mandate to ...Read more
I wouldn't know how to go about getting accurate information about this issue, but based on the emails I receive, I'd guess that 75 percent of my readers are women. Here are some example emails.
Q: I am 75 years old and getting widow's benefits from my first husband, who died many years ago. I was married a second time for 20 years to another ...Read more
Take My Social Security Advice ... Not My Financial Advice
I've discussed this issue before in this column. I am a Social Security expert. But I am NOT a financial planner. I give people all the facts, and then let them decide, sometimes in consultation with a real financial planner, exactly when they should start their Social Security checks. ...Read more
I haven't seen any demographic numbers on this issue, but if the emailed questions I'm getting from golden years parents are any indication, then I think the number of senior citizens with young children at home is growing.
I'm not talking about older folks raising one or more of their grandkids. That's an issue I've discussed many times in ...Read more
For some reason, I have been getting an awful lot of questions lately from seniors who are fretting about exactly when to sign up for Social Security benefits.
I'm not talking about people who are undecided about when to start their benefit checks -- I have written countless columns discussing that. I'm talking about people who have decided ...Read more
Q: I was in my local Social Security office recently. While I was sitting in the waiting room, I noticed a pamphlet on a table that was titled, "What Prisoners Need to Know about Social Security." If we are handing out Social Security checks to deadbeats sitting in prison who already get free room and board supplied by taxpayers, no wonder the ...Read more
I discussed this issue about six months ago. But for some reason, my email inbox continues to be crammed with questions from older folks who say they are planning to move overseas and want to know what happens with their Social Security benefits once they pack their bags and head to some exotic foreign locale.
Maybe some people are starting to ...Read more
I, WalterMike Hartner
Born of the working class in England, young Walter Crofter runs away from his dysfunctional family to seek fun and adventure. Becoming first mate on a trade ship, not only does Walter save the captain's life more than once, he excels at his position to find wealth, love...
Q: My wife and I are both on Social Security and Medicare. Her Medicare card has my Social Security number with a "B" after it. When I die, I know she will get widow's benefits. But will she continue to get Medicare on my record?
A: Yes, she will continue to get Medicare on your record. The only thing that will change is that she will get a new...Read more
Perhaps I've opened the floodgates? I've written a several columns over the past month or two discussing Social Security widow's benefits. But it seems the more explaining I do, the more questions I get! So, once again, more questions from more widows.
Q: Here is something I cannot figure out. Why am I getting so much more in widow's benefits ...Read more
I've written about this topic before. But I just have to do it again. If my emails are any indication, it seems as if 90 percent of senior citizens in this country are worried sick that they are losing out on Social Security benefits, or making decisions that result in dramatically reduced monthly checks from the government. And in almost all ...Read more
I guess it's just a sign of the times we are living in. But I am amazed by the number of emails that I get from elderly seniors, folks in their 70s, 80s and even 90s, who are hoping to get higher Social Security benefits. Today's column highlights some examples.
Q: I am 82 years old. My wife is 78. I get $1,478 from Social Security. My wife ...Read more
Several times every week, someone makes a comment similar to this one, which I found in today's email inbox: "It's so hard to stay current with Social Security because the rules are changing constantly!"
I guess I can understand why someone who is not familiar with Social Security but suddenly takes an interest because he or she is approaching ...Read more