Senior Living



Social Security and You: A Divorced Woman's Guide to Social Security

Q: You always seem to write about married women. But there are a lot of us divorced women out here. We need to know about Social Security, too. So, what can you tell us?

A: I can tell you several things. One: I've answered many questions from divorced women in this column. Maybe you just didn't see them. And two: With just a couple of ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Offsets Affect Some Public Employees

I am continually amazed by the number of emails I get with questions about Social Security from people who don't even pay into the system. Who are these folks? They are primarily teachers in some states and police officers and firefighters in other states. A lot of these employees are covered by other retirement plans and not by Social Security....Read more

Social Security and You: Let's Play 20 Questions

I'm going to assume you've all heard of the kids' game "20 Questions." Well, I'm going to do my own version of that today. I'm going to try to squeeze 20 questions into this column. To do that, my answers must be short and sweet.

Q: I just inherited some property that is worth $40,000. If I sell that property, will I lose my Social Security ...Read more

Social Security and You: Desperate Seniors

I get a lot of emails from confused and maybe lonely people who are writing to me mostly out of desperation. They are almost always from older senior citizens, folks in their 80s and beyond, who are looking for more money from Social Security. These emails are especially sad because there is usually nothing I can do for the questioners other ...Read more

Social Security and You: Virus Means More Work for Me!

Just ask me if I'm getting weary of the coronavirus! And I'm not coming at my dislike for the pandemic for any of the normal reasons: the social distancing, the masks, the confusing signals from Washington, etc. etc. What really makes me dislike the disease is that folks must be getting tired of watching "Tiger King" and "Ozark" and other ...Read more

Social Security and You: A 2-Tier Social Security System

In last week's column, I provided a very brief overview of the Australian Social Security system. (I got interested in the topic after my wife and I visited the Land Down Under and got to talking to some retirees there.)

Their Social Security program, which first started in 1907 (compared with 1935 in the U.S.), is a two-tier system. They have ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security in Australia

A couple of months ago, my wife and I returned from a six-week trip to Australia that also included a roundtrip cruise from Sydney to New Zealand. I had been planning that trip for about a year. And little did I know during that entire planning process that the dates I chose would work out so well. We went there after the worst of the bushfires ...Read more

Social Security and You: Top 10 Social Security Questions

I get hundreds of emails a week from my readers. I try to answer each and every one of them. But I probably answer the same 10 questions over and over and over again! And here they are. So, I'd like all you guys to clip out this column and stick it in your Social Security folder. (If you are getting Social Security, or anywhere near retirement ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Maximizing Madness

Every week, I probably get a dozen emails from readers who tell me they want to "maximize" their Social Security benefits. So many senior citizens are absolutely obsessed with the notion that there is some secret to getting more money from Social Security that they don't know about.

As I've explained hundreds of times in this column, the ...Read more

Social Security and You: What To Do When Social Security Reps Give You Misinformation

I really do not like writing columns that are critical of my former colleagues at the Social Security Administration. But doggone it! Almost every single day, I get emails from readers who share stories with me about misinformation they've received from SSA representatives they've talked to either at the national 800 number or at their local ...Read more

Social Security and You: With a Spouse, Taking Your Social Security Early Might Be Better

I'm sure you've seen websites, or received mailers from financial planners, that entice you with come-on's like this: "Learn the secrets to maximizing your Social Security benefits." Or, "You may be losing tens of thousands of dollars if you don't know this Social Security secret."

If you open the website, or attend the seminar, here is the "...Read more

Social Security and You: Retirees With Disabled Children

Some older folks who are pushing retirement age might have a disabled minor child and wonder if that child will qualify for benefits once they sign up for Social Security. Or they have an adult son or daughter who is disabled, and they want to know how Social Security works for them. That's what today's column is all about.

Let's start out with...Read more

Social Security and You: Sometimes a Woman Can Switch From Her Own to Spousal Benefits

Many women are constantly sending me emails complaining that they think they should be getting some extra spousal benefits to supplement their own smaller Social Security check. They reason that their benefit is smaller than half of their husband's rate, so they should get the difference.

However, they are almost always being paid correctly, ...Read more


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Darrin Bell Nick Anderson Mother Goose & Grimm Blondie The Lockhorns Paul Szep