The esprit de corps of the military— integrity, fellowship, and loyalty — is resolute in the veteran community. The core elements — commitment to country, service to others, looking out for one another — are deep-seated. When I moved on with my career, the creed to serve manifested differently. For the last 25 years, I have served with the federal government, always with agencies that share that commitment, such as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Veterans Affairs, and Social Security. I try to reinforce my commitment in everything I do, especially as I champion veterans’ causes in my work in the Social Security disability program. Continue reading
While I was working from home the other day, my phone rang three times. A robotic voice told me that I was in debt to the IRS and needed to pay immediately or I would go to jail. I knew it was a scam because the IRS will NOT contact me by phone; but, I wondered, if I were home alone and did not know these types of scams exist, would I be frightened enough to send money? Continue reading
As Americans, we believe that people of all ages and abilities deserve to be treated fairly and equally and to live free from abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. Tomorrow, on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we join the world in recognizing the importance of elders to our communities and standing up for their rights. Here are five ways you can join this fight. Continue reading
Did you know that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is sending new cards with new Medicare numbers to everyone with Medicare? Instead of your Social Security Number (SSN), your new Medicare card will include a new number unique to you. This will help to protect you against identity theft and protect Medicare from fraud. Medicare will automatically mail your new card to the address you have on file with Social Security. As long as your address is up to date, there’s nothing you need to do! If you need to update your address, use your personal my Social Security account. Continue reading
Alzheimer’s takes a devastating toll, not just on those with the disease, but on their families. The effects of this disease, emotional as well as financial, are felt by many in our society. Caring for relatives suffering from this debilitating condition is truly a labor of love, and unfortunately, comes with high costs. This month, as we observe National Family Caregiver Month, we look to shine a light on some of the often overlooked aspects of caring for someone with this disease. Continue reading
Gale Stallworth Stone, the Acting Inspector General of Social Security, is warning citizens about a phone scheme allegedly targeting former clients of Kentucky disability attorney Eric C. Conn. The Social Security Administration (SSA) and its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have received reports that Kentucky citizens who used Conn’s law firm to assist with applying for Social Security disability benefits have recently received suspicious calls from people claiming to be from SSA. Continue reading
NOTE: A version of this article was previously published on Suze Orman’s website on April 7, 2016.
I am concerned that many of you are banking on a retirement strategy that may not work out. According to a national survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, more than four in 10 Americans say they plan to keep working past the age of 65.
For many of today’s workers, the motivation to delay retirement is financial. A concern they lack the savings to cover all their retirement costs, including health care expenses. Continue reading
Building a financially secure retirement doesn’t happen by itself. You need to make a commitment to smart financial decisions long before retirement — starting in your 20s would have been ideal — and then keep carrying through on your retirement plan.
Here are some other big retirement-planning mistakes I want you to avoid: Continue reading
Retirement planning is especially challenging for women. We tend to live longer, and it’s not uncommon to have “off-ramped” from work at some point(s) to raise kids or care for a loved one. And because this affects lifetime earnings, it may also affect your eventual Social Security benefit. Don’t get me started on the gender wage gap. Continue reading
- My husband wants to retire at 62 and start taking Social Security. Is that okay?
This typically comes up because husbands are often a few years older than their wives, and figure they want to “get their money’s worth” by taking Social Security as early as possible. I think that can be a bad move. Unless you have oodles of money to live on in retirement, you — as a couple — want to maximize your Social Security payout for the longest surviving spouse. It’s important to understand that when one spouse dies, the other spouse is entitled to just one Social Security payment. So you want the surviving spouse to have the biggest possible benefit. Here’s how: Whichever spouse is the higher earner (and thus eligible for a bigger Social Security benefit) should delay taking Social Security at least until their Full Retirement Age (FRA), which is between age 66 and 67, depending on the year you were born. Continue reading