Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to social security
Title:
The complete idiot's guide to social security
Author:
Epstein, Lita.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, IN : Alpha Books, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xvii, 293 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780028643175
Format :
Book

Available:*

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Concord Library HD7125 .E65 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Presents a history of Society Security in the United States and covers the basics of collecting retirement benefits, disability benefits, Medicare, medigap, and privatization of Social Security.


Author Notes

Lita Epstein is a financial writer and is a former U.S. Congress press secretary, where she gained firsthand knowledge of working within the federal bureaucracy. She received her MBA from Emory University in Atlanta


Table of Contents

Part 1 Hatching the Nest Eggp. 1
1 Letting the Chicks Outp. 3
Roosevelt to the Rescuep. 4
A Declaration of Securityp. 4
A Civil Ideap. 4
Designing the Safety Hatchp. 5
Passing the Rules: 1935 Social Security Actp. 8
Spreading the Wordp. 9
2 Social Security Grows Upp. 11
Implementing the Plan: The Social Security Boardp. 12
Finding the Folks: U.S. Postal Service to the Rescuep. 12
Crafting Accountsp. 13
Paying the Bucksp. 15
The 1939 Amendmentsp. 15
A Growing Familyp. 16
Getting an Early Startp. 17
More Benefits = More Costsp. 18
The 1950 Windfallp. 18
Help for the Disabledp. 19
Medicare to the Rescuep. 19
Money Crunchp. 20
3 Today's Securityp. 23
What's the Bill?p. 23
Paying the Billp. 24
Workers' and Employers' Billsp. 24
Entrepreneurs' Payoutsp. 25
Who Doesn't Payp. 25
Feeding the Trustsp. 26
Trust Money Rulesp. 27
Trust Funds and the Budgetp. 28
Weathering the Baby Boom Stormp. 28
Part 2 Getting Your Sharep. 31
4 It's All About Mep. 33
Something to Live Onp. 33
Money for Your Spousep. 36
Support for Your Kidsp. 37
Protecting Yourself If You Can't Workp. 38
5 Following the Rulesp. 41
Your Out-of-Pocket Costsp. 41
How It Works If You're Employed by Someone Elsep. 42
How It Works If You're Self-Employedp. 43
Your Time Commitmentp. 44
Retirement Requirementsp. 44
Disability Duesp. 45
Survivors and Benefitsp. 45
Meeting Medicare Requirementsp. 46
Credit Poorp. 46
Admitting Your Age--When Older Is Betterp. 46
Starting the Paper Trailp. 48
Correcting Errorsp. 48
Getting Your Statementp. 49
Didn't Get a Statement?p. 49
6 Counting Your Cashp. 51
Cracking the Payout Rulesp. 51
Planning Your Strategiesp. 54
Collecting Your Stashp. 55
Making Contactp. 55
Paperwork Neededp. 56
Why You Might Get Lessp. 57
7 Timing Your Exitp. 61
Your Date to Escapep. 62
Your Lifespan Determines Your Incomep. 63
Early Arrivalp. 64
Late to the Partyp. 67
What Timing Is Best for You?p. 68
Part 3 Cracking Open Your Nest Eggp. 71
8 Picking Up the Piecesp. 73
Dealing with a Lossp. 73
Protecting Your Cashp. 75
Making the Right Movesp. 76
Scams and Fraud: What Your Should Dop. 76
Number Stolen?p. 78
Fixing the Messp. 78
Changing Numbersp. 79
9 Partings Not So Sweetp. 81
Social Security and Divorcep. 82
Timing Is Everythingp. 82
Spousal Benefitsp. 82
Survivors' Benefitsp. 83
No Peekingp. 84
Multiple Marriagesp. 84
The Remarriage Trap--Why So Many Seniors Just Live Togetherp. 85
Changing Numbersp. 85
Changing Namesp. 86
10 Hard Choices After the Death of a Spousep. 89
Timing Your Actionsp. 90
Your Benefit Optionsp. 91
Married with Childrenp. 92
Remarriage Hurtsp. 92
Benefit Optionsp. 92
Government Pension Offsetp. 93
Making Changesp. 95
Women's Differencesp. 96
Women's Bigger Benefitp. 96
Women's Future Benefitsp. 97
11 Children's Sharep. 99
Dough for Kidsp. 100
Getting Kids' Moneyp. 100
Benefits for a Disabled Child over Age 18p. 102
Supplemental Income for Disabled Kidsp. 103
Meeting the Rulesp. 103
Continuing Reviewsp. 105
New Rules at 18p. 106
Applying for SSI Benefitsp. 106
Medical Carep. 107
12 Dependent Parents' Slicep. 109
Learning the Rulesp. 110
Caregiving Resourcesp. 111
Taking Leave from Workp. 111
Finances and Your Dependent Parentsp. 112
13 Collecting Disabilityp. 115
Passing the Testp. 116
Establishing a Work Historyp. 116
Applying for Benefitsp. 117
Determining Disabilityp. 118
Special Rules If You Are Blindp. 119
Collecting Your Moneyp. 120
What If You Are Rejected?p. 121
Avoiding Benefit Lossp. 122
Staying in Touchp. 123
Going Back to Workp. 124
How Going Back to Work Affects Benefitsp. 125
Trial Work Periodp. 125
Extended Period of Eligibilityp. 125
Expedited Reinstatement of Benefitsp. 126
Continuation of Medicarep. 126
Impairment-Related Work Expensesp. 126
Recovery During Vocational Rehabilitationp. 126
14 Supplementing Incomep. 129
SSI: Assisting the Poor and Disabledp. 130
Rules for Supplementing Incomep. 130
Applying for Helpp. 132
Collecting Benefitsp. 133
Appealing the Decisionp. 133
Reporting Changesp. 135
Reviewing Your Casep. 136
Going Back to Workp. 136
Getting a PASSp. 137
Other Help You Can Getp. 137
Part 4 Living Rightp. 139
15 Making Ends Meetp. 141
Staying Above Waterp. 142
Getting COLAsp. 143
Stretching Your Bucksp. 145
Track and Rate Your Expensesp. 145
Learn to Live Frugally ... Before You Need Top. 146
Seeking Community Supportp. 147
Sharing Your Living Spacep. 148
16 Working Againp. 151
I Don't Want to Quitp. 152
Scouting the Rulesp. 153
Using the Formulasp. 154
What Counts as Income?p. 155
Special Rules for the Self-Employedp. 156
Special Rules for the Year You Retirep. 156
Reporting Earningsp. 157
Benefits of Going Back to Workp. 157
17 Using Your Assetsp. 159
Identifying Assetsp. 160
Integrating Assetsp. 161
Using Your Investmentsp. 163
Tapping Your Home Equityp. 165
Selling Your House and Movingp. 165
Home-Equity Line of Credit or a New Mortgagep. 166
The Reverse Mortgage Optionp. 166
18 Minimizing the Tax Bitep. 169
Tax Rules in Retirementp. 170
Putting Worksheets to Workp. 170
Overearningp. 171
Adding Children's Benefits to the Mixp. 172
Withholding Taxes from Your Benefitsp. 172
What Is Taxed?p. 172
Retirement Plan Distributionsp. 173
Tax on Early Distributionsp. 174
Purchased Annuitiesp. 175
Railroad Retirement Benefitsp. 176
Military Retirement Payp. 176
What Isn't Taxedp. 176
Part 5 Staying Healthyp. 179
19 Getting Medicare Coveragep. 181
Medicare--Starting Coveragep. 182
If You're 65 and Already Collecting Social Securityp. 182
If You're 65 and Not Collecting Social Securityp. 182
Buying Into Medicarep. 183
Should You Apply if You Are Still Working?p. 184
What's in Part Ap. 184
It's Not Free!p. 185
Benefit Periodsp. 185
Your Costsp. 185
What's in Part Bp. 187
Preventive Care Coveragep. 187
Don't Forget Those Ugly Exclusionsp. 188
New Twists to an Old Programp. 189
Medicare+Choice Plansp. 189
Where Is the Prescription Drug Coverage?p. 191
Risks of the Twistsp. 191
Medicare Rightsp. 192
Detecting and Preventing Fraud and Abusep. 193
The Future of Medicarep. 194
20 What's Missing from Medicarep. 197
Prescription Drug Costsp. 198
Medication Problemsp. 199
Long-Term-Care Drainp. 201
Home Care Servicesp. 202
Affordable Health Care for Poorp. 203
21 Closing the Gapp. 205
Closing the Gap with Medigapp. 205
Slowing the Drug Money Leaksp. 210
Long-Term-Care Optionsp. 211
Buy Early and Savep. 211
Choosing Coveragep. 211
Your Coverage Optionsp. 212
Continuous-Care Communities--Are They for You?p. 213
Part 6 What's Next for the Nest Eggp. 215
22 Running Out of Moneyp. 217
The Multitrillion Dollar Questionp. 218
Future Speculationp. 218
What Are the Trusts?p. 219
Who Are the Trustees?p. 219
Draining the Trust Fundsp. 221
Medicare's Troublesp. 221
Social Security Shortfallp. 222
Long-Range Outlook for the Fundsp. 223
After the Trustsp. 223
23 Modernizing Medicarep. 225
Prescription Drug Coveragep. 226
Bush's Prescription Drug Discount Cardp. 227
The Senate's Preliminary Drug Benefitp. 227
Shifting Cost Sharingp. 227
Combining Parts A and Bp. 230
A Myriad of Problemsp. 231
Privatizing Medicarep. 233
Opposition to Privatizationp. 234
Where's the Information on Privatization?p. 234
Getting a Handle on Costsp. 235
Working with an Outdated Systemp. 235
Disease Management Programsp. 236
24 Rescuing Social Securityp. 237
Setting the Stagep. 238
The Crisis Isn't Immediatep. 238
The Trust Funds Are Realp. 238
Key Playersp. 240
The Pro-Privatization Side of the Fencep. 240
The Fence Straddlerp. 241
The Antiprivatization Side of the Fencep. 242
Private Partsp. 243
The Cost of Privatizationp. 244
The Kolbe-Stenholm Billp. 245
Administering the Accountsp. 245
International Playersp. 246
Looking at the UKp. 246
Next Stepsp. 247
25 Following the Changesp. 249
Monitoring Government Agenciesp. 250
The Administrationp. 250
Congressp. 250
Tracking Private Advocacy Groupsp. 252
Key Research Studies and Websites You Shouldn't Missp. 254
Your Role in Social Security and Medicare's Futurep. 255
Appendixes
A Glossaryp. 257
B Resourcesp. 261
C Special Rules for State and Local Government Workersp. 273
Indexp. 277

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