Aging Energized Articles

Read about topics to help you age well, enjoy your retirement years, and navigate the intricacies of Medicare and Social Security.

Social Security 2021 COLA Increase Announced

social security Oct 13, 2020

The Social Security Administration just announced a 2021 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 1.3%. From the Social Security Administration's website:

"The 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021."

COLAs are implemented automatically based on the annual increase in consumer prices. This has been happening automatically since 1975, when legislation from 1972 took effect. Since that time, Social Security beneficiaries don't have to wait for a special act of Congress to receive a benefit increase.

Other Changes

There are a few other changes. They include:

  • The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax will increase to $142,800.
  • The earnings limit for workers younger than full retirement age (FRA) will increase to $18,960. The Social Security Administration deducts $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $18,960.
  • The earnings limit for people reaching FRA in...
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New Book--Social Security Basics!

social security Sep 11, 2020

Social Security is probably the most complex area to understand and navigate for pre-retirees and retirees. Compared with Medicare, it certainly has the most moving parts, nuances, and unique situations, which is saying a lot because Medicare is also quite complex.

Our newest book, Social Security Basics, provides the information you need to make an informed decision about when (at what age) to start collecting Social Security benefits. It's the most asked question—and hardest to answer—about Social Security. We do our best to cover all the angles to provide you with the confidence you need to make this all-important decision. This includes addressing whether you should consider collecting Social Security benefits early, before your full retirement age.

We also cover some specific topics that impact a significant number of people. They include:

  • Spousal benefits.
  • Survivor benefits.
  • People often have questions about Social Security benefits being taxed, so we tackle...
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Social Security Basics -- New Course!

social security Jul 21, 2020

We are very excited to announce the launch of our third course, Social Security Basics. As you're planning your retirement, understanding how Social Security works is key to knowing what your financial situation will look like. Decisions you make about when you start collecting Social Security benefits impact how much you'll receive each month. You can retire as early as age 62 and collect less than your full retirement age, or you can wait until age 70 and collect more. Understanding how this works is key to knowing when to make the leap into retirement.

The course covers many other topics, including spousal benefits (if you're divorced, did you know you may be entitle to collecting Social Security benefits based on your ex-spouse's earning history?), survivor benefits, tax considerations,  how to apply for social security benefits, and much more.

The course is simple and straight forward. It includes 7 video lessons, each with a handy download summarizing what's included in...

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Your Social Security and Medicare Accounts

medicare social security Feb 11, 2020

When you go to https://medicare.gov to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B (original Medicare), you may not realize that the first thing you will do is to create an account with the Social Security Administration . . . even if you're not planning on collecting Social Security yet. It's a little confusing, so we want to clarify the difference between your Social Security account and your Medicare account. Each serves a different, but very important, purpose.

Social Security Account

 When you go to https://medicare.gov and click on a link to sign up for Medicare, the link opens a Social Security Administration web page. This page begins the process of creating a Social Security account. The online form collects all the necessary information for your Medicare Part A application. You can also create your Social Security account by calling or visiting the Social Security Administration.

After the Social Security Administration receives your application, they review it. If they...

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Social Security Increase in 2020

If you're collecting Social Security, congratulations! You just got a raise. Your benefits are increasing by 1.6% starting in January 2020. For a recipient earning the average monthly benefit of $1,479, this means your check will increase to about $1,503 per month. This is an increase of $24 per month.

The Social Security Administration makes cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to counteract the effects of inflation.  However, many senior citizens are concerned that actual costs are rising faster than COLA increases, making it difficult to keep up.

For most Social Security recipients, Medicare Part B premiums are automatically withheld from Social Security checks. And those premiums are also going up in 2020. They are increasing from $135.50 in 2019 to $144.60 in 2020, an increase of $9.10. This means your $24 Social Security raise is actually $14.90 more on your monthly Social Security check.

According to this article, "small COLAs coupled with rising healthcare and other costs...

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