I give lots of talks about Social Security. I've given thousands of them over the past 45 years. And at almost every one of those presentations, inevitably, somebody in the crowd will get up and make a statement that begins with these words: "I'll tell you what's wrong with Social Security!" And then they will go off on some rant, spouting lies ...Read more
Maybe the Social Security Administration fixed the problem? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
So, what's the problem? I'm talking about an issue that, on the surface, sounds very simple. Yet over the years, hundreds, if not thousands, of readers have found it confusing and have written to me for clarification.
It's the answer to this ...Read more
I know everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. But let's be honest. Sometimes a lot of those opinions can be downright crazy. And when it comes to Social Security, lots of people share their half-baked or out-and-out nutty ideas with me. And today, I'm going to share some of them with you.
Crazy Idea No. 1: "I think the law should say ...Read more
Several months ago, I wrote a column about how to handle Social Security matters when a loved one dies. I guess you all forgot to cut it out and paste it on your refrigerator, because I continually get questions about that topic. Here are some of the latest ones.
Q: For Christmas, my wife got me a clever little booklet titled, "So I'm dead ... ...Read more
Conventional wisdom has it that old folks are supposed to spend their retirement years sitting in a rocking chair and occasionally playing a game of Scrabble. But if my emails are any indication, that's not what's happening with today's seniors. I constantly hear from people in their 70s and 80s who are still working. And they wonder if their ...Read more
I've gotten quite a few emails from readers who have questions about an article on Social Security benefits for spouses that recently ran in an issue of the AARP Bulletin. Some of you thought the answers they gave were incorrect. But they were not. Let's review some of them in today's column.
And one caveat before I go on: In order to avoid a ...Read more
Near the end of last year, I wrote a couple of columns in which readers complained about the service they received from the Social Security Administration. After that column ran, I predictably got emails from people with more complaints. They are usually from people griping about long wait times when they call the agency's 800 number or from ...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 2020.
January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching 66, their so-called full retirement age, in 2020. The ...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 2020 due to the ...Read more
Sometimes I will write what I think is the most harmless and innocuous column about a Social Security issue -- and then all hell breaks loose! It happened again recently. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column in which I explained that a workingwoman will generally be paid her own Social Security benefit first. Only after that will they will ...Read more
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