Not a year goes by in which a reports circulate about retirees being tricked into giving away their financial resources by a dishonest person pretending to act on behalf of a fictitious agency. Or, even worse, legitimate companies occasionally hire salespeople willing to stretch the bounds of ethics and prey on unsuspecting elders with fantastic tales of unknown problems their product or service can solve – often at a steep cost. The fact of the matter, unfortunately, is that safety for senior citizens is a concern for the individuals themselves and their loved ones.
The city of Detroit encourages retirees to “BOSS” life around. Wherever you go, take care to “Be Observant, Smart, Safe” and you will have a leg up on criminals in search of targets. Thanks to a few simple precautions, you can protect yourself both in public and at home:
Out on the Town
- Be aware of your surroundings, whether you’re at the grocery store or driving through a sketchy part of town.
- Avoid carrying large sums of cash in your purse or wallet, and make sure to keep them close to your body – handbags close to the body for ladies and billfolds in the front pocket for men (a rubber band around the outside can provide an extra challenge for a pickpocket).
- Have a look around when you get into or out of a parked car – especially in underground structures – and always keep your doors locked when driving.
On the Homefront
- Look through the peephole when there’s someone at the door. If you don’t know the person, ask them to identify themselves and the purpose of their visit before opening it. Do not be afraid to call the police if they are unable to produce an ID badge or are unwilling to leave.
- Make sure all your locks are in good condition and install deadbolts, then work to secure windows that are difficult to pry open.
- Be suspicious if a caller is unable to produce a name when asked. If he were to say, “Who is this?” politely ask “Who are you looking for?” or “Who would you like to speak with?” In the event they can’t specifically identify someone – like “Mr. Harold Jones” instead of “the man of the house” – hang up.
- Refuse to give information out over the phone to strange callers. Though some will have legitimate-sounding titles, when the conversation turns to requests for your name, address, marital status, credit card number, etc. then end the call immediately.
Signed into law on August 14, 1935 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a limited form of what we now call Social Security has been in place since January of 1937. During the Great Depression, more than half of senior citizens after Retirement were in poverty and the “social insurance” plan was developed by the President’s Committee on Economic Security as a means to combat it. In the beginning, the program was designed to provide benefits to the retired and unemployed, as well as a lump-sum at death.
From the start, the limitations imposed by the program were controversial: benefits were offered for certain professions, leaving out women and minorities in large numbers. Exclusions that kept nurses, teachers, social workers and many others from claiming benefits meant barely more than half of the American workforce received help. In addition to stipulations already in place “just big enough for the majority of Negroes to fall through,” as the NAACP protested, much of the authority for distributing aid was given to the states to appease Southern congressmen. As a result, black families were often allocated less money than white ones, widening the gap even further.
Of course, there was some debate as to whether the program would be considered constitutional at all. The Supreme Court had been quite forceful in striking down New Deal legislation throughout the mid-1930s and, if not for a timely switch after the Judiciary Reorganization Bill was proposed by President Roosevelt in 1937, it might have been eliminated just as the first death benefits were being paid out. A pair of decisions released on the same day, Steward Machine Company v. Davis and Helvering v. Davis, upheld the right of the federal government to set policies for “the promotion of the general welfare.” Three years later, Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont received the first monthly Social Security payment.
The program has evolved almost continuously, as concerns regarding holes in the payment plans led to more inclusive amendments in 1939. The number of covered individuals remained relatively stable until separate amendments in 1950 and 1954 extended coverage to nearly everyone, but dependents and spouses of working women were still prevented from receiving death benefits until 1962. It wasn’t until the 1970s, when protection was extended further and cost-of-living adjustments were created almost 40 years after the bill first went into effect, that Social Security as Americans understand it today came into being.
So this was just a brief of Origin of Social Security
Confusion reigns after The Wall Street Journal reported a major policy shift from the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) on Friday, June 17th. The country’s most powerful lobbying group for older citizens, long opposed to cuts in Social Security benefits, is now willing to admit the time has come. According to John Rother, AARP head of policy, “The ship was sailing. I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens.”
Opposition amongst membership began almost immediately, prompting AARP CEO A. Barry Rand to issue a statement later in the day against “inaccurate media stories” and “misleading characterization.” He went on to say AARP is “currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security.” Though the program has long been known to be running out of time – funding reserves are estimated to disappear in 2036 – Rand reiterated, “Social Security should not be used as piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit.”
Despite the statement, the change is said to have been approved by the organization’s board of directors. Evidence mounted as the group declined to join Strengthen Social Security, a group of 300-plus lobbying groups created to fight benefit cuts. Rand made it clear “any changes would be phased in slowly, over time” before going on to mention opposition to certain key issues is just as strong now as it was when the group took a stand against them in 2005.
“They are completely at odds with their membership,” said Nancy Altman, Strengthen Social Security co-chair. She noted AARP’s change would definitely carry weight in the Capitol, though perhaps at the expense of those it represents.
“I think they’re going to get burned,” said her fellow co-chair, Eric Kingson.
The AARP position shift is said to have limits, particularly with respect to ending the program for affluent beneficiaries. In addition, it has proposed tax increases to make the program financially stable again, meaning it will have no part in being used for national debt reduction. (Funding comes from outside the federal budget, so it doesn’t contribute to the deficit, either.)
The Obama administration is said to be looking to raise the retirement age and lower the index for annual cost of living benefit increases as part of a deal. These cuts would be offset by higher taxes on the wealthy, a move to improve revenue and create better long-term stability for the program.
“Social Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and…sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for the next 75 years,” Rand asserted in the statement. Both Republican and Democratic representatives believe that minimum standard for solvency can be achieved by collecting more taxes and paying fewer benefits.
AARP has planned dozens of town-hall meetings across the country to explain the problem and possible answers, but selling the policy move to members will be difficult. According to a February poll from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, resistance to cuts of any kind is high: 84% of Americans 65 and older oppose them. The group will be mindful of the larger ramifications, too. It lost 300,000 members after endorsing President Obama’s health-care law, which reduced Medicare by $500 million.
Having a proper Retirement Planning is a must.
Is Applying For Social Security retirement benefits a nerve wrecking task for you? Do you find yourself running from door to door asking what should be the actual procedure? Well, there’s nothing to worry about and “applying” is the easiest part of all.
Is applying for social security retirement benefits a nerve wrecking task for you? Do you find yourself running from door to door asking what should be the actual procedure? Well, there’s nothing to worry about and “applying” is the easiest part of all.
Social Security Number or SNN is the most vital number for any working US citizen. Through this program you get all the social protections, which include disability, poverty, unemployment, retirement, old age, and so on. This benefit is given through social insurance, income maintenance, different kinds of services, and of course, as social security benefits. In order to savor the sweetness of these social security fruits, you need applying for social security benefits in a proper way. Though the task may seem tortuous, you will certainly feel glad once checks start arriving.
The first question that must be popping out in your mind is: “how much would I get?” Well, you will get nearly 40% of your earnings to live on post retirement. So, Retirement Planning needs to be done very carefully as well. In order to be eligible for these benefits, you need to work for at least 10 years. You can start receiving these benefits once you attain the age of 62 years or can wait till 65. However, if you opt for receiving the benefits at the age of 62, the amount will be much less than that of 65. The more you would pay toward tax during the tenure of your employment, the more you will receive as benefits.
While applying for these benefits, you need to submit the things as follows:
- Social Security Number
- W-2 forms or tax returns (in case you are self-employed)
- Birth Certificate (if you are jointly applying with your spouse, then his/her birth certificate as well)
- Bank account details
- US citizen proof or lawful alien status (if you are not US born)
- Military Discharge Papers (in case you have served a term in military service)
Once you have al the necessary papers ready, you can make a call (toll free) to the Social Security Office or can apply online.
In the USA, unemployment is fast becoming a menace reaching the horrendous position. Getting hired after 60 is very problematic in America as companies are not interested to offer handsome pay packages to those seniors who are septuagenarians and octogenarians. However, this scenario has changed after the nation somewhat recovered from the recession period of 2007, due to the advancement of the technology, the type and nature of trading have undergone a vast change to facilitate man to earn more without feeling bored and disturbed. Nowadays, getting retirement jobs is not a dream anymore. So you need to do Retirement Planning for you in order to get hired.
Experts have done a lot of surveys and research to find the easiest way to spoon feed the aged and other low income groups who need financial boosters to spring back properly. However at the same time, it is also true that instead of getting 100 percent achievement and success, it will be more profitable to grope for the convenient way to remove unemployment slow but in steadfast way. Especially, the seniors need retirement jobs so that they can earn few quick bucks without making full investment of time.
The government has already launched numerous growth oriented programs successfully for providing instant support to the seniors in finding more suitable retirement jobs in both commercial and government aided institutions. Now without any confusion, it can be said that American government has got good result when they put much emphasis on web based portals or SEO supported marketing field for offering financial assistance and backup to those who need money to heat the furnace in the kitchen and illuminate the rooms.
There are different sorts of jobs which are offered by online entrepreneurial communities. An aged person can participate into a number of online affiliated campaigns which are not hard to find. Affiliate marketing tools online are easy to operate and you can be benefited extensively in the long run. If you belong to the geriatric society, you can invite others to join your online affiliate campaigns to earn and get fun. Online jobs are especially suitable to the seniors and those who are not able to work outside due to mobility problems like physically challenged persons. For this reason, internet based jobs are really helpful and beneficial to the aged retirees who are incompetent in attending regular offices for working on daily basis. An aged person can utilize free hours by surfing the net and do different types of PPC (pay per click) type online money earning programs. There is no age bar and you can successfully perform your duties by doing these jobs.
Online transaction is very flexible and speedy. You will have no difficulty to meet clients online without continuing face to face communication. You are not required to go outside during natural calamities. Nor are you bound to sell products visiting door to door bearing suffocating heat and sunlight. Everyday numerous companies launch different types of SEO based surveys and promotional campaigns. You can easily provide your vital feedbacks in these surveys to get fund. If you like to do business independently, you can optimize a website for commercial purpose. You can offer bandwidth to other clients who will advertise their products in your sites and you will get certain amount of revenues and profits in the form of revenues.
Therefore, breaking the barrier of limitation and confinements, it is now time for you to regain spirit and vitality to stretch hands for holding sun, moon and silvery canopy which extends over your head. Oh my goodness! Are you still in confusion about the positive impact of online marketing? The fact is that you will have to recuperate from the stereotyped conventional legacies and major drawbacks. Browse different sites and select the most profitable business which requires the least investment. The main advantage of doing online affiliate trading is that you won’t bear huge expenses and charges to operate the online portals for marketing.
There are many aged persons who go to the flea market to collect reconditioned products for selling them to people at low rates. Often they also do some garage sales. If they have over used artifacts and junks, they sell them to agents and local people. However, this type of job doesn’t bring adequate fund to the aged comparing to online business. There are many online retirement jobs which can be started without releasing a dime from the pocket. Online form fill- up easy data entry, survey completion, various content writing jobs and lot more are awaiting to make your dream true.
Running a family single handedly is indeed a complicated job; hence the support of two incomes is of utmost importance. Now, the situation worsens in case of the sudden demise of the husband, a significant portion of the income finally disappears, thereby leaving the widow as the sole bread earner of the family. The situation turns out to be all the more crucial if the spouse had some illness before and a lot of expenses had incurred for the same. However, at this hour Social Security Benefits for Widows emerges as a ray of hope. This form of security helps widows to meet their needs. As per Joan Entmacher, “social security offers fifty eight percent of the income of widows aged over sixty five years when compared to thirty nine percent for all couples and individuals over sixty five years”.
Those who meet the eligibility criteria can apply for this security by either contacting at their nearest security office or by calling up at the same. For this, the widow needs to present the death certificate of her husband, the social security numbers (hers as well as her husband), divorce papers, birth certificate of the dependant child, worker’s recent tax return or W-2 form, bank account number and name of the account holder. At the end it all concludes that in order to avail all these Social Security benefits in future you must have your Retirement Planning done in present.
Life is fraught with difficult questions. Some can be resolved smoothly and some may require a great deal of effort. But, as per retirement planning is concerned, there are so many ways to secure our future that we really needn’t worry. The common problem in this realm is we don’t know how much money needs to be saved for that better tomorrow.
According to survey results, about 44% of the American professionals along with 29% of mature adults of the age group 55 and more hold that they don’t know what percentage of money should be saved for retirement. However, some of the people belonging to the age bracket of 55 and more opine $250,000 or may be less than this should be sufficient when they retire. Moreover, President of ShareBuilder Dan Greenshields holds retirement savings need to be pretty much higher as in old age an individual is more prone to illness which results in greater healthcare and medical expenses.
According to Mr. Dan Greenshields, an individual’s retirement savings should be around $500,000 and $1 million. However, it may vary depending on the living style of the person. To be more precise, he added “If you live in a low cost state you need less because the cost of living is lower” and “If you live in Washington DC, New York, or Los Angeles, you need more.”
It has been found that as much as 20% of the American population nearing their retirement age believes that saving $500,000 should be adequate while 13% aims at $750,000 retirement savings. The survey reports also reflect that about 20% of Americans are trying to save $1 million minimum and 6% aiming at $1.5 million savings before retiring. About 8% of the American population is striving to maintain $2 million in their bank accounts for the retirement.
However, it is interesting to note a large number of Americans do not calculate savings for retirement in actual terms. Almost 47% of them indulge in guesswork to decide the amount of savings to be adequate in their retirement age. In contrast, 29% of the Americans believe in doing their own research, 9% take the advice of the financial consultants and another 9% rely on the retirement calculator. Those who calculate their retirement savings on their own consider factors like healthcare and living costs, inflation, income at retirement age and Social Security income.
The last year has seen the largest increase in Social Security checks in the past 25 years with a rate of 5.8 percent. At the same time, as per the present law, the enrollees are also not going to get any cost-of-living adjustment in the next three years. In fact, the increment in Social Security is linked to the Consumer Price Index for the urban workers. It can be recalled here that the Consumer Price Index has decreased last year due to the plunging prices.
It’s the new retirees born in 1947and signed for the Social Security this year, rather than the current beneficiaries, who are going to get affected by the impact of the lack of Social Security boost. These people didn’t reap any benefit from the increase of Social Security last year. Moreover, there is every possibility that their purchasing power may erode by inflation before the cost-of-living increases once again in 2012. Andrew Biggs, a former deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute has done an analysis to find out the possible impact of it on the retirees. According to the analysis, the new retirees may face a permanent benefit reduction of about 5 percent, while the benefits of the current retirees will remain the same.
Owing to the inflation hitch in 2008, newly retired couples are going to get a monthly Social Security check of $2,235. According to the calculations of Biggs, they will lose almost $1,340 per year. The calculation also says that, if the couple survives until the age of 83, they would lose around $25,000 in their lifetime.
It is not possible to evade this financial loss by delaying your retirement either, unless the cost-of-living gets adjusted, which is again projected to resume in 2012.
Social Security is the national retirement care plan that is available in the US. Pension is one of the important benefits that are provided through the program. The pension is also known as Old-age Insurance benefit or Retirement Insurance Benefits. The pension benefits are applicable after one attains the age of 62 or more.
In most cases, the payments and the benefits that you get from Social Security are made in the third of each month or on the fourth Wednesday. Usually, the benefits that you get that based according to the date of the birth and some other factors.
In order to be covered under the Social Security pensions , there are certain things that one needs to comply with. The requirements of the benefits are made as per the mode of payments and also the age of the applicant. Some of the requirements that you need to follow are:
You need to be of the age of 62 and above to enjoy the benefits
You need to be fully insured in the Social Security System
You either need to apply for the benefits or convert the Disability Insurance Benefits after reaching the age of full retirement
One can apply for pension benefits through a number of ways. You can make applications for Social Security benefits :
By making applications through the net
By making applications through the mail
By applying directly at the office of Social Security
By making applications with the Immediate Claims Taking Unit
There are also some factors which determine the amount of the Social Security pension. Some of them are the amount of the payroll taxes that you pay into the Social Security Trust Fund, the age when you can claim the benefits, the current income that you are earning and also whether you are a part of any type of military service.
It may sound surprising but Social Security can provide you free loans. Under the present scenario, retirees can choose between various options like claiming the benefits at 62 and getting reduced returns or delaying claiming the benefits till 70 and enjoying full returns every month.
Now, in order to get higher lifetime benefits, you can use some unconventional strategies. One of them is known as the “Free Loan from Social Security” strategy. By applying this strategy, you can get some free loans from the social security accounts. For instance, if you claim Social Security at 62 years of age and reclaim the same at 70 years, you can receive a higher benefit. As you only need to pay back the principle loan amount, you can keep the interest and invest it in some other channel.
If you are of age 70 and adopt a Free Loan” strategy, you can first claim some benefits at 62 years of age and again reclaim it at 70 years. The interests that you receive provides you with the head-start’ on reaching the break-even age. In order to be break even, you need to live until you are entitled to the total benefits of social security.