Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:00pm
If you find Social Security spousal and survivor benefits confusing, here are the differences and similarities you need to understand as you make decisions about applying for one or the other.
For one thing, you may be entitled to these benefits based on someone else’s Social Security record, such as your spouse or ex-spouse. No matter the size of your own Social Security benefit, you qualify for spousal benefits and survivor benefits if your spouse has a Social Security retirement benefit on record.
Submitted by Eve Kaplan on Mon, 01/06/2014 - 12:00pm
If you are married, you can use your spouse’s Social Security to collect extra benefits, even before you touch your own. This often-overlooked feature may add thousands of extra dollars to your retirement income.
Social Security has a Rodney Dangerfield problem because it just doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It is a great risk-free, cost-free inflating annuity for life. But what’s even better is that married couples have additional ways to increase benefits.
Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Thu, 12/26/2013 - 3:00pm
It pays to know all formulas you use to calculate your ever-changed Social Security benefits. Here’s a look at one of them, which affects how much you get, a seemingly abstruse yet crucial concept called bend points.
Submitted by Ray Ferrara on Tue, 11/12/2013 - 9:00am
Saving for retirement, an admirable aim, has lots of obstacles. The overall economy is to blame for some, government rules for others and employer tightfistedness for still others. Retiring at 65, which is the traditional goal, is for many a pipedream.
Today, people are living longer in part because of less physically demanding work than in the past and better health care throughout life. Many people are choosing to work longer, many because they have to, not because they want to.
Submitted by Brenda P. Wenning on Tue, 11/05/2013 - 9:00am
The labor force participation rate has fallen and it can’t get up. That is not a good thing for the struggling economy’s future.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that, in September, 90,609,000 Americans who are 16 or older are neither working nor looking for work. Only 63.2% of Americans are working or looking for work. Anyone who is unemployed who has looked for a job in the past four weeks is counted as participating in the labor force.
Submitted by Brenda P. Wenning on Fri, 11/01/2013 - 9:00am
America felt huge relief when Congress agreed to a fix to the budget/debt ceiling standoff. Trouble is, they merely postponed the problem, known in Washington parlance as “kicking the can down the road.” Why should we have confidence that lawmakers will resolve the mess next time? Or any time? The parties are too divided.
This all reminded me of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s 1854 poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” about another doomed enterprise: