Monday, October 4, 2010

Social Security

Hey, msucheermom, WELCOME to Me and My Dog!  Thanks for signing up to follow along on our journey.  Feel free to comment.  I didn't see that you have a blog, but if you do, let me know so I can check it out. : )  We're not on the road yet, but that's THE PLAN.

I have no good photos to go along with my post tonight, so here's a photo of Katie in her spiffy new walking vest.  It has safety trim that glows when light hits it at night.  You can kind of see it in this photo.  It also keeps her from pulling out of her collar when she gets excited.  And I worry about those coyotes,  if I need to yank her up fast, I don't want to choke her.  Isn't she a cutie?

 Since it's October, and I'm eligible for Social Security in January, this is the month I sign up (three months prior).  This evening I'm working on signing up on-line.  I've gotten almost to the end of the form but I'm afraid to complete it.  From what I've heard in years past, once you decide when and how you're signing up for your benefit, and the application is done, there's no going back.

The Social Security Administration employee that I went to see last year when I signed up for Medicare told me I can collect one-half of my former husband's monthly benefit since we were married more than ten years, and I am now unmarried.  If I decide to do that, my Social Security benefit will continue to grow until I decide to collect under my own SS number.  She said it was some kind of loop hole that benefits divorced women (or divorced men if they earned less than their former wives).

I assume some of you retired RVers are collecting Social Security.  Anyone start collecting their Social Security by taking one-half of their former spouse's benefit in a reduced monthly payment, then later on down the road switch it to your own, for a larger benefit?

One-half of his benefit is less than my whole benefit amount, but not by a lot, and since I'm still working full time I can afford to take less now, so that I'll receive more later.  When I'm full-timing, every little bit will help.  But...  once I push the final button, that's it.

I think I'll hold off on completing it tonight, and make an appointment to file in person, so I can be sure I have my facts right. I'd hate to reduce my benefit for the rest of my life because I misunderstood.

I am soooo looking forward to that extra check each month.  $$$$$

 Two weeks to go, can't wait.

From me and Katie, have a good night, everyone!  : )


  1. I took mine at 62 on the advice of my brother in law who is an actuary, he said you have to live to at least 80 years old to make up the difference of waiting and getting a bigger check.Don't know about the survivor benefits, but once you sign up for your regular SS benefits there is a cap on how much you can make, in my case it is $1500 a month, after that you have to pay SS back on the excess.On my pension I can make as much as I want. Since I was making too much driving the bus I retired from that, I will now wait until we are full time or do side work that will not put me above the limit. Check that out because the penalty you pay back is high. Be safe out there Sam &Donna.

  2. Thanks, Donna. I appreciate it. I have an appointment in 2 weeks, and will make notes to bring in with me to make sure I sign up to my best advantage.
    I hope I live PAST 80! My parents are 88 - I plan to live till 105!:)

  3. How were you signing up for Medicare before Social Security? I always thought it was the other way around. Thanks for sharing..

  4. Wow, you really got me thinking. I found this article that I thought was very interesting - see if you agree.

  5. Pidge, Medicare starts at age 65, Social Security starts at different times, youngest age is usually 62, with a reduced benefit, full benefit starts at 66 for people my age. So I was eligible for Medicare a full year earlier than for my full benefit Social Security.

    Diana, Yes, that is an interesting article. It states exactly what I was saying, and then has other scenarios, too. When I talked to the woman at SS today, she confirmed what the article says. We DO have to know what our options are so we get the most of a benefit that lasts the rest of our lives.

    Thank you both for your comments!

  6. Hi Barbara,
    I am collecting on my former husband's SS widow's benefit since 6/10.(65+10 mos). I could draw on mine 9/1/10. I'm taking his instead of mine so that mine builds for another 4 yrs, and there is no penalty while I am still working. Just building up the RV fund! Works for me.


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