About once every two years or so, I write a column about Social Security's infamous "notch baby" issue. And each time, I think it will be my last such column because these so-called babies are actually now centenarians or darn near it -- and frankly, there just aren't many of them around anymore. But if some recent emails I've received are any ...Read more
A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the fact that the new commissioner of Social Security, a guy named Andrew Saul, has promised to improve the service people get when they call the Social Security Administration 800 number or visit a local Social Security office. I said I hoped he would be true to his word and wasn't just blowing a lot of ...Read more
Just out of curiosity, I wanted to find out what the most common questions readers have been asking lately were. I was pretty sure I knew, and a quick check of my emails from the past month verified what I thought. By far, the most questions came from women who think they should be getting higher benefits on a husband's account. Here are some ...Read more
I am going to give you a series of names. I would give any reader a hundred bucks if he or she could tell me who these people are and what they all have in common. Here are the names: Stanford Ross. William Driver. John Svahn. Martha McSteen. Dorcas Hardy. Gwendolyn King. Shirley Chater. Kenneth Apfel. Michael Astrue.
So, who are they? They are...Read more
Even after writing several recent columns about the issue, I still get many emails from readers confused about which date to choose as the starting date for their Social Security retirement benefits.
The confusion essentially centers around the fact that Social Security checks are paid one month behind. For example, the Social Security payment ...Read more
I usually like to have a theme to my columns. In other words, I will generally just cover one topic and present one or more questions from readers that are related to that subject. But every once in a while, I just like to open my email inbox and pick random questions to answer. Today's column is one of those.
Q: I am 79 years old. I haven't ...Read more
Every single day, I get emails from people who will say something like this: "My wife and I are getting SSI." Or this: "We have some questions about our SSI checks." Or this: "If I die, will my wife get any of my SSI?"
I know from experience these folks think that SSI stands for Social Security Income. Or maybe Social Security Insurance. But it...Read more
A few months ago, I briefly discussed the possibility of retroactive Social Security retirement benefits. But if my email inbox is any indication, I guess I raised more questions than I answered. So today I will tackle the topic in more detail. Although the general rules are fairly simple, it can get a little complicated when you get down to the...Read more
I pointed out in last week's column that there are hundreds of myths and rumors being spread -- mostly on the internet -- about Social Security. Half of them deal with the politics and financing of Social Security. I covered some of those in recent columns. But there are also a multitude of myths about Social Security programs and how they work....Read more
I could write a book called "The Top 100 Social Security Myths." And that book would be divided into two main sections: 50 political myths and 50 program myths.
The political myths deal mostly with the history and financing of Social Security. Many people, usually with an ax to grind or a chip on their shoulder, publish very biased screeds on ...Read more
I wrote about this phenomenon about a year ago. And it never ceases to amaze me. I'm referring to the emails I get from readers who are asking Social Security-related questions on behalf of their children. And when I say "children," I don't mean little tykes who are still wet behind the ears. I'm talking about children who wear hearing aids and ...Read more
I've written many columns in the past with messages targeted to divorced women. And I thought I had everything covered. But I got a fascinating email recently from a reader who surveyed women in her area and had some interesting insights as to why those who are divorced were not familiar with the Social Security benefits they might be due from ...Read more
Maybe it's the sign of the times, but I've been getting a lot of emails recently from senior citizens asking if they can get Social Security disability benefits. The answer depends on a variety of factors. It can get a little complicated.
But I can begin with some relatively easy answers. If you are over your full retirement age (66 for most ...Read more