Sometimes, when I write a column about a certain topic, that column seems to generate more questions than it answers. And that certainly was the case with a column I wrote about widows benefits just before the holidays. Ever since, my inbox has been crammed with emails from widows or about widows. And I even got some questions about benefits for...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 2021.
January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching 66 and 2 months, their so-called full retirement age, ...Read more
It has been my custom for most of the past 23 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 2021 due to the ...Read more
I know many people are saying, "Good riddance" to 2020, partly due to political turmoil but primarily due to the deadly COVID-19 virus. But as for me, I have been dreading 2021. Why? It has to do with the increase in the Social Security full retirement age. And therein lies a story.
For the first half-century of the Social Security program, ...Read more
First of all, let me wish a heartfelt happy holidays to all the wonderful readers of my column. I've heard from so many of you over the years. I've managed to help you understand Social Security a little bit better. And many of you have managed to brighten my days with your kind words about me and my column.
Some of you are new to the column ...Read more
I get a lot of emails from women who have questions about the widows benefits they are already getting. Or they have questions about the widows benefits they think they will be getting in the future. I've saved up a few of those and will answer them in today's column.
Q: I am 70 years old. My husband has stage-four lung cancer. He is 72. He ...Read more
I've pointed out many times how people are quick to gripe about the government in general and the services it provides in particular -- when they don't have the whole picture about what is going on. For example, lately, I've been getting a lot of complaints about letters that people get from the Social Security Administration. And in most cases,...Read more
Let me ask a question. If your furnace stopped working on the coldest day of the year, would you send an email to a guy who writes a newspaper column about heating and air conditioning issues? Or would you immediately call a local heating contractor and get someone out as soon as possible to fix your furnace? Obviously, you would do the latter. ...Read more
Every single day, more than a few of the emails I get from readers start out with this (or a similar) phrase: "I'll tell you what's wrong with Social Security!" They then proceed to tell me just that. Sadly, almost always, their little rant is based on a misunderstanding of Social Security rules or misinformation they picked up -- usually off ...Read more
I was just looking at a photo album with highlights of a memorable trip my wife and I took to Europe a few years ago. And in looking at a few of those pictures, something struck me that I can associate with some Social Security-related questions and concerns I get from readers.
One set of photos shows us outside the ornate gates of the Palace ...Read more
I really don't have any way of knowing this, but I'm guessing the majority of my readers are women. And that guess is based on the fact that I get far more emails from women than from men. Today's column has questions covering a variety of topics from some of my female fans.
Q: I just turned 62 and am not working. My husband was a mental abuser...Read more
More than a few husbands and wives are involved in some kind of mom and pop business. And over the years, I've learned that many of those moms get the short end of the stick when it comes to Social Security. Or more specifically, to the assignment of earnings from the business to Social Security records.
I don't have any statistics to back this...Read more
I get hundreds of letters from my readers every week. And from them, I can glean a lot of insight into some facets of the American character. One thing I've learned over the years is that many Americans claim they want smaller government and fewer benefits from that government. But when I read their letters, what they are really saying is this: ...Read more