Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Medicare vs. Medicare Advantage: How to Choose ~ from

Should you opt for government-offered Medicare or a Medicare Part C alternative?

Decoding health insurance options can be daunting for people age 65 and over. Those who have paid 10 years of Social Security taxes qualify for Medicare at age 65. They're automatically signed up if they're receiving Social Security payments, unless they take steps to opt out. Standard Medicare comes in two parts: A and B. Part A covers a portion of hospitalization expenses, and Part B applies to doctor bills and other medical expenses, such as lab tests and some preventive screenings.

But some seniors may find better value in Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage. Such plans are run by private insurance companies but regulated by the government, and must offer coverage that's comparable to original Medicare parts A and B. Most also include prescription drug coverage, which is an optional add-on called Part D for seniors who keep original Medicare.

See more here: Should you opt for government-offered Medicare or a Medicare Part C alternative?

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Social Security Q&A: Will I Get My Spousal Benefit Instead of, or in Addition to, My Retirement Benefit?

From Social Security Q&A: Will I Get My Spousal Benefit Instead of, or in Addition to, My Retirement Benefit?
Question: I started taking my reduced Social Security benefits based on my own earnings. My husband will most likely defer his benefits until 2017 when he will be 70. At that point, can I receive half of his benefit instead of my own or in addition to my own?
Social Security Q&A: Will I Get My Spousal Benefit Instead of or in Addition to My Retirement Benefit?
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Why Social Security Can't Go Bankrupt: Rerun --- from

It is a logical impossibility for Social Security to go bankrupt. We can voluntarily choose to suspend or eliminate the program, but it could never fail because it “ran out of money.” This belief is the result of a common error: conceptualizing Social Security from the micro (individual) rather than the macro (economy-wide) perspective. It’s not a pension fund into which you put your money when you are young and from which you draw when you are old. It’s an immediate transfer from workers today to retirees today. That’s what it has always been and that’s what it has to be–there is no other possible way for it to work.
To explain this, let’s create a simple world. Say there has been some sort of terrible global calamity and we only have ten people left. Further say that these ten decide to make the best of it and set up a society, including an economy. Of course, much of humanity’s technology is now lost to us, so our level of productivity is very low. As a starting point, assume that each of us is only able to produce enough output for herself or himself to survive.
How many people can retire under these circumstances? Obviously, none. Anyone who stops working, starves. It is irrelevant how many people over 65, disabled, or otherwise deserving there are, no one can quit because our level of productivity is too low. Nor is it helpful to have a pile of cash somewhere. No amount of money can change the fact that one person can only make enough goods and services for one person. If there are ten people to feed, clothe, and shelter, then ten people must work. This reality is inescapable and is the reason why the real determinant of the feasibility of Social Security (or any other type of retirement system, private or public) is productivity. If it falls short, then supporting a class of retirees is impossible, regardless of how much cash we have on hand; if it does not, however, financing it is trivial. This will be shown below. Read More... Why Social Security Can't Go Bankrupt: Rerun
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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Disability Benefits:

The website,, is a valuable
resource for information about all of Social Security’s
programs. At their website you also can:
Apply for retirement, disability, and Medicare benefits;
Review your Social Security Statement;
Get the address of your local Social Security office;
Request a replacement Medicare card; and
Find copies of publications.
Here is the Social Security Administration's brochure for Disability Benefits:
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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Social Security Q&A: What's My Best Claiming Strategy if My Spouse Died Early?

From Social Security may be your largest or one of your largest assets. How you manage it, by deciding which benefits to collect and when, can make an absolutely huge difference to your lifetime benefits. And those with the highest past covered earnings have the most to gain from maximizing their Social Security. MORE...
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