Senior Living


Health & Spirit

Social Security and You: Social Security Program Myths

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

Social Security and You: Seniors Seek Help for Their 'Kids'

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

Social Security and You: Divorced Women Surveyed About Social Security

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

Can Senior Citizens Get Social Security Disability Insurance?

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

Social Security and You: More SSA Blunders

I recently came across a Facebook page dedicated to Social Security Administration retirees. I decided not to join it because one of its tenets was this: "Never criticize the work being done by current SSA employees." I really don't like writing columns that are critical of my former colleagues who work in local SSA field offices or telephone ...Read more

Social Security and You: I Can't Get Involved in Personal Social Security Cases

Over the more than 20 years that I've been writing this column, I'm sure I've helped tens of thousands of people get a better understanding of the Social Security system. But one thing I can't do is get involved in a reader's personal Social Security case. Yet, every single day, I get emails from readers asking me to do just that.

One very ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Clickbait

Social Security Clickbait

I'm sure you've seen these teaser links on the internet that sometimes can be too irresistible to ignore. They have catchy titles like "20 celebrities who have a secret past" or "10 common foods that will kill you." This is called "clickbait." Essentially, it's a form of false advertisement designed to entice people to...Read more

Social Security and You: Don't Fall for This Latest Social Security Scam

Before I get to today's questions, I must point out a phone scam that is currently going on that involves Social Security. Quite a few readers have reported this scam to me. And then just this week, I was a victim, too. Here is the message that all the readers and I heard on our phones:

"This call is from the Department of Social Security. The ...Read more

Social Security and You: Don't Listen to Friends and Neighbors About Social Security

I've said this before and written columns about this before. Do NOT listen to your friends and neighbors when it comes to Social Security advice. Whatever they are telling you is probably wrong. Here is another batch of questions saved up from this week's mailbag that proves my point.

Q: My sister's husband died on July 24. He was 76 and ...Read more

Social Security and You: You Don't Have to Be Old to Get Social Security

If you were to play a word association game and the phrase "Social Security" came up, I bet many of you would answer "old people" or "senior citizens." It's normal to associate Social Security with old folks because, well, the majority of Social Security beneficiaries are just that. But about 30% of people getting a monthly check from Social ...Read more

Social Security and You: Privatizing Social Security

Q: I am doing a school report on plans to privatize Social Security. What can you tell me about this?

A: That's a topic that used to be all the rage back in the 1980s and 1990s. But ever since the almost catastrophic financial crash in the late 2000s, saying you want to turn Social Security over to Wall Street brokers (i.e., to "privatize" ...Read more

Social Security and You: Women and Social Security

Most women have a different relationship with Social Security than men do. Why is that? After all, almost no Social Security rules are gendered. For example, retirement benefits are figured the same way for men and women. Spousal benefits are also gender-neutral. In other words, a woman can qualify for benefits as a wife or widow in the same way...Read more

Social Security and You: Vets Being Duped By Social Security Rumor Mill

Not a week goes by when I don't get emails, such as the one here, from veterans who have been led to believe that they are missing out on extra Social Security benefits allegedly payable to people who served in the military:

"Tom: I've been told that as a veteran, I should be getting an extra $120 per month added to my Social Security check. ...Read more


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