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
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
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
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
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
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
Well, this week I learned that not all bureaucrats work for the government. They can be found in any organization anywhere, in the public sector and the private sector. They are there anytime rules need to be enforced. And in today's column, I'll ponder if that's a good thing or a bad thing.
Here's the story. This year, my wife and I will be ...Read more
Whether you're a man or woman, Social Security rules can sometimes be confusing and hard to understand. Today I'm going to go over some common misunderstandings that women have about their eligibility for benefits. And almost all these misunderstandings have to do with benefits they might be due from a spouse in addition to their own Social ...Read more
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 2024.
January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching their full retirement age in 2024. The important ...Read more
It has been my custom for most of the past 27 years to write a year-end column that summarizes the Social Security updates scheduled to take place the following year. I already discussed some of these updates in a column back in October when they were first announced, but it doesn't hurt to repeat them here. (They all grow out of the annual cost...Read more
Before I write today's column, there are two important and seemingly unrelated observations I must make.
No. 1: Regular readers of this column know that I don't like to write about Medicare. Why? Because I'm a Social Security expert, but not much of a Medicare expert.
No. 2: It seems like there are a lot of rich (or temporarily rich) baby ...Read more
Want a great Christmas gift idea? How about giving yourself and your friends the best book about Social Security that you will ever read. And surprise! I'm talking about my book, "Social Security Simple and Smart: 10 Easy-To-Understand Fact Sheets That Will Answer All Your Questions About Social Security." In just under 100 pages, I explain ...Read more
I was struck by something I heard the other day on a radio show. The host of the program was making the point that he thought people are just getting meaner and nastier. I see examples of that every week when I read emails from people who, for whatever reason, really despise the Social Security disability program. Their meanness and hatred ...Read more