Senior Living



Social Security and You: You Must Pay In To Get Something Out

More than a few people are just bound and determined to believe the worst about the government in general and about the Social Security system in particular.

Here is one example of that. In my recent survey of the services provided by the Social Security Administration, hundreds of my readers praised the agency and gave it an average rating of ...Read more

Social Security and You: Social Security Administration Services - The People Speak

In last week's column, I shared the results of a survey I conducted with my readers in which I asked you to rate the service you got from the Social Security Administration using the ubiquitous star system: 5 stars for good service down to 1 star for poor service. I got more than 200 responses. And your responses averaged out to 4.5 stars.

Many...Read more

Social Security and You: Survey Says 4.5 Stars

Well, the votes are in. Several weeks ago, I asked my readers to rate the service they got from the Social Security Administration in the form of stars: 5 stars for good service down to 1 star for poor service. More than 250 of you responded. And the overall rating averaged out to a solid 4.5 stars.

This is much higher than I would have guessed...Read more

Social Security and You: Public Employees Are NOT Being Cheated by Offsets

A month or so ago, I wrote a column about people who mistakenly think they are being cheated by the Social Security Administration out of benefits they believe they are due.

But one group I didn't mention in that column are the biggest complainers of all: public employees such as teachers and police officers in certain states, many of whom don'...Read more

Social Security and You: Foreign-Born Parents Not Mooching Off the Social Security System

Q: I am sick and tired of all these people who bring their parents over here from foreign countries and then immediately put them on their Social Security account. No wonder Social Security is going broke! I personally know two couples in my neighborhood who get Social Security. They brought their parents up from Mexico and now they are mooching...Read more

Social Security and You: Divorced Man's Guide to Social Security

Over the 27 years I've been writing this column, I have probably written a hundred columns directed at divorced women. But after answering emails from men who had questions about benefits for divorcees, it dawned on me that I've never written a column for divorced men. Today, I'll make up for that.

I should point out that I will be ...Read more

Social Security and You: How Many Stars for Social Security Service?

I've been writing this column for about 27 years. And more than a few times, I took my former agency, the Social Security Administration, to task for sometimes falling down on the job. That's because I frequently hear from readers complaining about misinformation they received from Social Security representatives or about service issues -- ...Read more

Social Security and You: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

In today's column, I'm going to talk about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Despite what many people think, these government programs are not like three peas in a pod. They are more like a pea, a bean and a stalk of celery. In other words, they are all sort of connected because they are government programs that sometimes have an ...Read more

Social Security and You: Privacy Laws and Social Security

Social Security's privacy laws are a topic I've covered in past columns. But I can tell from my emails that it's time I do so again.

I recall my days as a trainee with the Social Security Administration. And gosh, that was more than 50 years ago now! The very first thing drilled into our heads was that a law called the Privacy Act prevented us ...Read more

Social Security and You: Spousal and Survivors Benefits for Men

In the past 27 years, I bet I have written hundreds of columns explaining spousal and widows benefits that are available to women on a husband's Social Security account. And usually if I have enough space, I try to squeeze in a line that says the same benefits are available to husbands and widowers, even though I know those benefits to men are ...Read more

Social Security and You: You Are Being Paid Properly

In my 32 years of experience working for the Social Security Administration and the 27 years I've been writing this column, one of the more common complaints I've heard from people goes something like this: "I don't think I am getting the right Social Security benefit amount. It's less than it should be." Or like this: "Based on what all my ...Read more

Social Security and You: Book Updates

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

Social Security and You: That's Not What I Meant To Say

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



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