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Social Security and You: Lapses in Service and Advice at the SSA

Today I'm going to write, once again, about lapses in service and advice from the Social Security Administration. I cringe every time I write one of these kinds of columns. When I worked for the SSA between 1973 and 2005, I was often so proud of my agency. We were always winning awards for public service and program efficiency from the overseers...Read more

Social Security and You: A COLA Gift From Congress Few Seniors Know About

I wonder if any of my readers have thought about this. Why did you get the 2022 cost-of-living increase in your January Social Security checks? After all, that check you get in January is the Social Security payment for December. In other words, you get your first 2022 COLA increase in your December 2021 Social Security benefit. So why is that? ...Read more

Social Security and You: Turning Full Retirement Age in 2022? Consider Filing for Benefits This Month

I write a column similar to this one every January. But I don't mind plagiarizing myself because it contains a very important message for people planning to retire in 2022.

January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching 66 and 4 months, their so-called full retirement age, ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Update for 2022

It has been my custom for most of the past 24 years to write a year-end column that summarizes the Social Security changes and updates scheduled to take place the following year.

Almost all Social Security beneficiaries are familiar with the most popular and publicized upcoming change: the increase in monthly benefit checks for 2022 due to the ...Read more

Social Security and You: A Big, Dumb Jerk Takes a Tumble!

I recently shared a humorous story about a trip I took to Poland in the 1990s to train some of their Social Security officials on how we handled information outreach to American citizens about our Social Security programs. I received so much positive feedback on that column. Here is a typical example: "I have been a faithful reader of your ...Read more

Social Security and You: When and How to File for Social Security Benefits

Hundreds of thousands of people will be filing for Social Security benefits in 2022. So today, I'm going to write a column about when and how to file for Social Security benefits.

But first, let me clarify the "when to file" part. As I've said over and over again in this column, I am not a financial planner. So, I really can't advise you about ...Read more

Social Security and You: Vets Being Misled by Internet Come-ons

Not a week goes by when I don't get emails from veterans who have been led to believe that they are missing out on some extra Social Security benefits allegedly payable to people who served in the military. Here is a very typical example of such an email.

"I read on the internet that as a veteran, I should be getting an extra $120 per month ...Read more

Social Security and You: Seniors Who Are Disabled

Baby boomers (like me) aren't just getting old. Some of us are also getting frail. I'm probably a pretty good example. After a lifetime of essentially good health, I've recently had to deal with issues as severe as blood clots and as minor as a bum knee and arthritis.

And judging from my emails, I'm not alone. Many older folks are asking me ...Read more

Social Security and You: Memories of a Social Security Trip to Poland

For some time now, I have been working on a book that I plan to give to my kids and grandkids for Christmas. That book is full of stories and pictures from my life, my wife's life, and our lives together. I figure somewhere down the road, one or more of those kids will find it a treasure trove of family history. At the beginning of the book, I ...Read more

Social Security and You: Even More Questions From Women

I've speculated before that most of the readers of my column are women. And that conjecture is based on the fact that I seem to get many more emails from them than I get from men. That's why, for example, in the past month, I've written two columns targeted to my female readers. But I guess I didn't do a very good job of helping them understand ...Read more

Social Security and You: How a Social Security Benefit Is Figured -- For Beginners and for Experts

How a Social Security Benefit Is Figured -- For Beginners and for Experts

There are some columns I could repeat over and over again -- because I'm asked the same questions over and over again. One of the most common questions I'm asked is this: "How is my Social Security benefit figured?" I've answered this question many times in past columns, ...Read more

Social Security and You: Even More Questions From Women

I've speculated before that most of the readers of my column are women. And that conjecture is based on the fact that I seem to get many more emails from them than I get from men. That's why, for example, in the past month, I've written two columns targeted to my female readers. But I guess I didn't do a very good job of helping them understand ...Read more

Social Security and You: When Grandma Needs Help Managing Her Social Security Benefits

This is going to be a column about people who need help managing their Social Security affairs.

People frequently send me emails about this topic. A typical email might go something like this: "My 90-year-old grandmother has a hard time getting around and managing all of her affairs. I had myself granted power of attorney so that I can help her...Read more

Social Security and You: Where to Go for Social Security Help

My wife has a little plaque hanging on the wall of her art studio. She's a fiber artist who makes quilted landscapes and something called "temari," which are decorative Japanese thread balls. She sells her wares in a local art gallery. If you want to see her work, just go to www.fiberartsbybecky.com. Anyway, that plaque, which she got when we ...Read more

 

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