Category: Guest Blogger

Personal Finance: Ask Rusty: Should We Get Married or Just Live Together?

Your own Social Security benefit will not be affected in any way if you get married, unless your potential new bride is a very high earner and her Social Security entitlement at her full retirement age (which is 66 years and 8 months) is more than twice the full benefit amount you were entitled to at your full retirement age (even though you claimed your SS earlier). In that case, you would become eligible for a spousal benefit from your new wife after you are married for one year. 

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You Have Choices for Electronic Storage

The industry has created huge banks of servers, all connected through the internet, to hold all the stuff you want to keep. Think of them as electronic storage lockers and understand that you can have storage lockers scattered throughout cyberspace for free or for a few bucks a month, all accessible from every device you own.

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Ask Rusty: Do Joint Tax Filings Alter Social Security Earning Limits?

If you collect Social Security before you reach your full retirement age (FRA), your wife’s earnings from working will not be counted toward your personal earnings limit. The earnings test looks only at your personal earnings and, if you exceed the limit, Social Security will take back some of your benefits. But only your personal earnings — as reported on your W-2 or Self-Employment tax return — count.

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Zoom Like a Pro

With COVID-19 restrictions or safety practices showing no sign of letting up for seniors, it’s time to get yourself up to speed for Zoom or any other videoconferencing service. It’s as close as we’re going to get a personal interaction for the foreseeable future.

Zoom has become the go-to videoconferencing service for many families, churches and synagogues, and social and educational organizations.

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The $400 mobile phone

Are you considering a new mobile phone but don’t want to pay $600 to $1200? This may be a golden age for your golden years – at least as far as phones are concerned.
While seniors usually don’t live on their phones like their children or grandchildren, we’re starting to find more uses for our phones. But we don’t want to break the bank or feel like we’re forced to pay more than we want for a new one.

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Smart Tech Solutions for Aging in Place

As our population ages and more people prefer to remain in their homes for as long as possible, technology continues to offer more solutions to aid their safety and the peace of mind of family and friends. Combinations of devices, new applications and the internet make it possible to tailor a tech system for just about any personal need.

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Ask Rusty: What Happens to my Social Security if I Die at Age 62?

Social Security FICA payroll taxes collected from current workers are used to pay all those who are currently receiving benefits. Any excess collected which is not paid out in benefits is deposited into a special Trust Fund and held in reserve for the future. My hope is that understanding this will dispel a far too widely held myth that the money you pay into the Social Security program from your paycheck is deposited into a personal account for you—it is not. Rather, that money is used to pay benefits to all those who are already collecting Social Security.

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