Social Security

Menstuff® has compiled information regarding Social Security. The plan is under critical consideration for change. One analysis says that to put the system in balance, the retirement age for full Social Security benefits would have to rise above 73 years of age. The average man dies by 76, so, if you want to collect back any of the thousands of dollars you've been forking over all these years, early retirement might be the way to go.

"If it ain't broke, don't privatize it."
What You Need to Consider
Social Secutiry: A Fake Crisis
Ten Myths about Social Security
Twelve Reasons Why Privatizing Social Security is a Bad Idea
Bush Contradicts Bush in Debate on Social Security's Solvency
Women and Social Security: a few facts
Saving Social Security - Put Congress on It - NOT a true story

"If it ain't broke, don't privatize it."

..."If it ain't broke, don't privatize it!" a flash advertisement by Andy Menconi of San Francisco, California. It won in MoveOn.Org's Bush in 30 Years contest. Both the judges and MoveOn members picked "If it ain't broke" as their favorite—a popular and critical smash hit! See the entire commercial at

What You Need to Consider

As you approach the age when you can receive Social Security retirement benefits, you have options to consider and decisions to make. Before making your retirement decision, consider all of the options.

There are important questions you need to ask yourself. At what age do you want to begin receiving benefits?  Do you want to work and receive benefits at the same time? Or do you want to work beyond your full retirement age and delay receiving benefits?

When you continue working beyond full retirement age, your benefit may increase because of your additional earnings. If you delay receiving benefits, your benefit will increase because of the special credits you will receive for delaying your retirement. This increased benefit could be important to you later in your life. It also could increase the future benefit amounts your family and survivors could receive.

Each person's retirement situation is different. It depends on circumstances such as health, financial needs sand obligations, family responsibilities, amount of income from work and other sources. It also may depend on the amount of your Social Security benefit.

About the Options

Retiring at Full Retirement Age. To retire, you must have earned 40 credits. See the table below to determine your full retirement age.

Year of Birth*
Full Retirement Age
1937 (or earlier)
65 and 2 months
65 and 4 months
65 and 6 months
65 and 8 months
65 and 10 months
66 and 2 months
66 and 4 months
66 and 6 months
66 and 8 months
66 and 10 months
66 and 10 months
* Refer to the previous year if you were born on January 1 

Retiring Early: If you've earned 40 credits, you can start receiving Social Security benefits at 62 or at any month between 62 and full retirement age. However, your benefits will be permanently reduced based on the number of months you receive benefits before you reach full retirement age. If you retire before your full retirement age of 65, your benefits will be reduced:

If your full retirement age is 66, they will be reduced:

Receiving Retirement Benefits While You Work:  You can work while receiving monthly benefits. And it could mean a higher benefit that can be important to you later in your life and increase the future benefits your family and survivors could receive.

The Social Security Administration will review your record each year to see whether the additional earnings will increase your monthly benefit. If there's an increase, they will send you a notice of your new benefit amount. Earnings in or after the month you reach full retirement age won't reduce your Social Security benefits. However, if you receive benefits before reaching your full retirement age, your benefit amount will be reduced.

Delaying Retirement: You may decide to continue working beyond your full retirement age without choosing to receive benefits. If so, your benefit will be increased by a certain percentage for each month you don't receive benefits between your full retirement age and age 70. This table shows the rate your benefits increase if you delay retiring.

Year of Birth
Yearly Increase Rate
1943 or later

Applying for Social Security Retirement Benefits and Medicare:  It's best to contact Social Security three months before the month in which you want to file for retirement benefits to discuss the options that are available to you. In some cases, your choice of retirement month could mean additional benefits for you and your family.

Even if you don't plan to receive benefits because you'll continue working, you should sign up for Medicare three months before reaching age 65. Otherwise, your Medicare medical insurance (Part B) could be delayed and you could be charged a higher premium.

How to Apply for Retirement Benefits: You can file your retirement claim on the Internet at or by calling 800.325.0778 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to file your claim.

In addition to the information listed above, you will need:

You will need to mail or deliver original documents or copies that have been certified by the issuing office to a Social Security office.

Need More Information: You also have options for getting information about Social Security and retirement. When you visit their website, , click on Benefits Planners to estimate your Social Security benefits, find answers to frequently asked questions about Social Security, learn about factors that could affect your benefits and much more. And you can get information about Social Security by visiting a local Social Security office or by calling 800.772.1213.

You also can print these publications from their website.

Para solicitar Su Declaracion en espanol (Statement in Spanish), call 800.772.1213 or call your local Social Security office or reach them at on the Internet.

If you're deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY 800.325.0778.

If your address is incorrect ask the IRS to send you an IRS Form 8822. The Social Security Administration doesn't keep addresses for persons not receiving Social Security benefits.

Saving Social Security - Put Congress on It - - NOT a true story

(Editor's note: This email has been circulating since April, 2000. A check of will give you background on it's inauticity. As of 1998, the average annuity for retired members of Congress was $50,616 for those who retired under CSRS and $46,908 for those who retired under FERS. Those figures are quite good (about 2-3 times better than the pension collected by the average worker), but not quite the highway robbery these e-mails make them out to be.)

It doesn't matter if you are Republican or Democrat (unless you're in Congress.)

Our Senators and Congresswomen do not pay into Social Security and, of course, they do not collect from it. (Wrong)

You see, Social Security benefits were not suitable for persons of their rare elevation in society.They felt they should have a special plan for themselves. So, many years ago they voted in their own benefit plan.

In more recent years, no congressperson has felt the need to change it. After all, it is a great plan. For all practical purposes their plan works like this:

When they retire, they continue to draw the same pay until they die. Except it may increase from time to time for cost of living adjustments. (Wrong)

For example, Senator Byrd and Congressman White and their wives may expect to draw $7,800,000.00 (that's Seven Million, Eight-Hundred Thousand Dollars), with their wives drawing $275,000.00 during the last years of their lives. This is calculated on an average life span for each of those two Dignitaries.

Younger Dignitaries who retire at an early age, will receive much more during the rest of their lives.

Their cost for this excellent plan is $0.00. NADA....ZILCH.... (Wrong)

This little perk they voted for themselves is free to them. You and I pick up the tab for this plan. The funds for this fine retirement plan come directly from the General Funds;

"Our Tax Dollars at Work"!

From our own Social Security Plan, which you and I pay (or have paid) into,-every payday until we retire (which amount is matched by our employer unless we are self-employed, which means we pay twice as much)-we can expect to get an average of $1,000 per month after retirement.

Or, in other words, we would have to collect our average of $1,000 monthly benefits for 68 years and one (1) month to equal Senator! Bill Bradley's benefits!

Social Security could be very good if only one small change were made. That change would be to: Jerk the Golden Fleece Retirement Plan from under the Senators and Congressmen. Put them into the Social Security plan with the rest of us then sit back and watch how fast they would fix it. (Was done in 1984.)

Perhaps we are asking the wrong questions during election years. This must be an issue in "2008" if not NOW!

Women and Social Security: a few facts

This is the first post in a series I am writing as a blogging fellow for the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of more than 270 national and state organizations dedicated to preserving and strengthening Social Security.

Now answer that question and take her Social Security out of the equation. How would she fare if she was entirely on her own?

You may not realize it, but Social Security is the single most effective program to keep women out of poverty in their retirement years that the nation has ever created.

Here are some facts about women and Social Security that you may not know, but should:

Since Social Security became the law of the land in 1935, it has frequently been the only thing standing between women and the proverbial poor house, and that is not a pattern that shows any signs of changing any time soon.

While the gender-iniquities that were part of the program at it's inception have been righted, much of the labor performed by women is uncompensated. Women still sacrifice large amounts of our prime earning time providing care for young children, aging parents and eventually young grandchildren. This negatively impacts the amount of monthly benefit they receive in retirement.

Schemes to divert Social Security contributions into so-called "individually held private accounts" would hit women especially hard, because returns on such accounts would depend on volatile markets and would not have COLAs built in to safeguard against inflation or provide spousal and dependent benefits. And that uncompensated labor that already impacts women's benefits in the current system? Privatization schemes would devastate any hope for economic security in retirement, because without the shared risk pool that Social Security represents, many women -- especially those who took a time out of the work force to raise families and take care of aged or ailing family members -- would quickly outlive their assets and be destitute.

Women are not worthless, nor is the labor we provide to our families, not merely free-of-charge, but at great detriment to our own best interest -- and the older I get, the crankier I get about the fact that we are discounted, dismissed and disrespected with distressing frequency. Who can forget Alan Simpson firing off a condescending email to Ashley Carson, the executive director of the Older Women's League, sneering that Social Security had "become a milk cow with 310 million tits" and finishing with the admonition to "Call when you get honest work!"

Instead of dismissal and disrespect, why not look at Social Security and ways to strengthen it through women's eyes? Not only because we tend to be especially bent on equitable, mutually beneficial solutions, but because a system that works well for American women will be a system that works well for all Americans.
Sources: the National Women's Law Center, January 2011,

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By the time we've made it, we've had it. - Malcolm Forbes
(Editor: Or been had.)

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