People frequently write to me with an idea to change Social Security law in some way that they think is clever and unique. But I usually must tell them that their proposal has been considered in the past. After all, Social Security has been around for 80 years now, and for all of those eight decades, people have been coming up with plans that ...Read more
I guess there just must be something about the human psyche that makes so many people feel they're being cheated out of something that everyone else gets. And if my emails are any indication, that's especially true when it comes to older adults and Social Security. So many of them seem to be convinced that the big, bad government is keeping them...Read more
we go again. Another round of scare stories about the impending doom of Social Security. Headlines, such as this one in my local newspaper -- " Social Security Moves Closer to Bankruptcy " -- have many of my readers on edge.
These kinds of headlines were prompted by a report released last week from the Social Security Board of Trustees that ...Read more
I probably have written more than 100 columns about the obsession older adults have with "maximizing" their Social Security retirement benefits. I'm not going to get into that issue today. I personally don't think it's always the right move. But if you're determined to employ these alleged strategies (which almost always mean delaying starting ...Read more
These are the columns I hate to write. Columns that are critical of some of my former colleagues at the Social Security Administration. But doggone it. Almost every day, I hear from readers who have been misled by an SSA representative.
I know we are all human, and we all can make mistakes. And giving out bum advice is one thing. But giving out...Read more
I am always getting emails from readers who are so hung up on making sure they start their Social Security benefits at their full retirement age. They don't want them a month before. They don't want them a month after. They want to make darn sure that their benefits start at their full retirement age. And they almost seem to be losing sleep ...Read more
I've been explaining Social Security rules to people for almost half a century now, and I've been writing this column for almost a quarter century. I think I do a pretty good job of helping people understand Social Security rules and regulations, and I do it in simple and easy-to-understand language.
So I'm always surprised when I get questions...Read more
I wrote a column about a year ago based on an email from an 85-year-old woman whose husband of 60 years was near death. She was asking me how to deal with Social Security matters after he passed away. That column struck a chord with many people. For example, many readers told me they were going to keep a copy of that column in their records for ...Read more
I get a lot of emails from readers that start with some version of the phrase: "I'll tell you what's wrong with Social Security!" And then they go off on a little bit of a rant, almost always citing some misinterpretation of Social Security laws.
In the past, I've written a similar column with all the rants coming from men who were usually ...Read more
This is going to be a column about the Supplemental Security Income, or SSI. In other words, it will NOT be a column about Social Security. Supplemental Security Income and Social Security are two entirely different government programs. They really have nothing to do with each other, other than the fact that they are both managed by the Social ...Read more
Sometimes this column can get into some complicated or esoteric Social Security rules or circumstances. But it dawned on me that many of the emails I get from readers are asking questions about some pretty basic Social Security stuff. So this week's column will be like a refresher course in Social Security. I will just go over the basic rules ...Read more
I frequently hear from readers who ask me about an alleged marriage penalty associated with Social Security. Or they say they heard there is a maximum amount that can be paid to members of a married couple. These rumors are untrue. Today's emails illustrate what I am talking about.
Q: I am living with a woman and have been for many years. We ...Read more
I recall my days as a trainee with the Social Security Administration. And gosh, that was almost 50 years ago! The very first thing drilled into our heads was a law called The Privacy Act, which prevented us from disclosing any information about anyone's Social Security record to anyone other than the record holder.
Almost all Americans agree ...Read more