Q & A

Ask Rusty – Spousal and Survivor Benefits

Dear Rusty:  I worked in my career, but I now get Social Security disability. My husband retired in 2015 at age 66 and took his Social Security at that time.   When he is 70 can I get spousal benefits from…

Ask Rusty – State Employees getting reduced Social Security

Dear Rusty:  I’m retired for almost 17 years, and want to know why Massachusetts is one of only 6 states in the US that went along with President Reagan’s double-dipping proclamation regarding Social Security? I worked for 15 years whereby…

Ask Rusty – SSA Misinformation leads to Lost benefits

Dear Rusty:  I am 64, a widow and I’m hopping mad! I lost my husband a while ago and went to Social Security to apply for widow’s benefits. That all went okay and I’m getting my benefit, but I just…

Ask Rusty – Optimum Time for Wife’s Benefits

Dear Rusty:  I would like some advice on the optimum time for my wife to start drawing her Social Security. Pertinent facts are: I am 11 years older than her (born in 1949) and waited until my full retirement age…

Ask Rusty – Legal Non-Citizen Resident Gets Spousal Benefits

Dear Rusty:  We have gone to the Social Security office because we were told that my husband might be eligible to receive Social Security benefits, but they told him he had not worked enough quarters and that he could not…

Ask Rusty – Spouse Doesn’t Qualify on Her Own

Dear Rusty:  I reached my full retirement age on 6/24/2017 and I plan to file for my benefits to start in June 2018.  My wife doesn’t have enough credits to qualify for benefits on her own lifetime income, but she…

Ask Rusty – Allocating small business income to husband & wife

Dear Rusty:  My wife and I own a small company, so we can allocate our pay as we wish. She had not paid into Social Security in her career so 6 years ago her pay was increased so she paid…

Ask Rusty – Why the big deal about COLA increases?

Dear Rusty:  Seems like everyone makes a big deal out of the annual Social Security increase. The way I see it, why bother? For the 2017 benefit year my wife’s Social Security increased by .03% but her Medicare increased by…

Ask Rusty – Turning 70 and Still Working: What about Social Security?

Dear Rusty:  I turn 70 on March 13, 2018 and I’m single. I was told to apply for Social Security one month before I turn 70, but now I’m hearing that I should have applied 4 months in advance. I…

Ask Rusty – Restricted Application for Divorced Spouse

Dear Rusty: I’ve recently started reading your column on Social Security and am learning a lot! My particular question is this: I was born in November 1953 so my full retirement age is 66, which is coming up faster than…

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