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Understanding Social Security

Written By: Gary on January 17, 2008 One Comment

So I went to the Social Security Office with my Mom today. There are just so many (too many) scenerios with all of it! It’s interesting how they talk about it, they think of everything as the number of checks you get, not so much as the money you get (months, not dollars). If you work more after you retire, they hold back checks, not dollars. It’s odd, but I guess every job has it’s own language.

My Mother did make a decision today. As a bonus, it’s the same one I would have told her to do if she had asked me to make the decision so that worked out well. Without getting into too much of my mother’s details:

  • The decision we made today probably had equal dollar amount pros and cons between the two choices we liked best.
  • I think money-wise our choice will work out to be a little better or about the same dollar amount as the other.
  • If we made the wrong decision, I still think it was the one with the least amount of risk.
  • If it turns out to be less it’s probably just a little bit (and if we were way way wrong in the worst way, it’s still not a catastrophic dollar mistake).
  • One of the other reasons I liked this choice was that this decision pretty much causes no other decisions to have to be made in the future. A few steps need to be taken in the future (at times to be determined), but pretty much we’re committed to the steps in order now.
  • She’ll lose sleep tonight thinking if she made the right decision; I’m the opposite, it won’t keep me up since the decision is made (less choices = less stress).

    It’s an interesting thing to keep in mind that you can start collecting SS but keep working. I think once you start to collect SS, if you makes more than $13k a year they start to give you less money. For every $2 you makes over that amount, they give you a dollar less. So pretty much once you hit that dollar amount, your salary is cut in half (sort of taxed at 50%). I’d try harder talk he into working working to earn that much per year since you don’t get as much value but then she’d lose her health benefits and that’s got some value these days.

    None of the above is to be considered retirement advice; I do not work in the financial sector nor do I portray someone who does. :)

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    One Response to “Understanding Social Security”

    1. Kurt V. says on: 17 January 2010 at 12:44 am

      You are a good son.

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