The information contained herein was taken directly from various publications of the Social Security Administration and from actual conversations with Social Security representatives. If you are nearing the Medicare age, it would behoove you to get all the facts you can from the Social Security Administration. Don’t ask Uncle Joe or Aunt Mary, although they may be well intentioned, they do not know all the facts. Even some of the representatives don’t know all the facts.
For many among us, procrastination is the order of the day. If we can extend the time period for making that all important decision, in many cases, we will do so. When we embark upon this route, we are susceptible or prone to make mistakes. In many cases, I seem to be able to get more done when I am pressed for time. If I attempt to put the finishing touches on a task that can be handled sometime in the future, I cannot devote my undivided time to it.
Some things in life require immediate attention. For example, it would not be wise to prolong a needed oil change for your car. Although the car may continue to operate, the long term consequences for not changing the oil can negatively impact the vehicle.
Just prior to becoming eligible for Medicare, I never gave it a second thought. That was for the old folks. I must have thought getting old didn’t apply to me. Although I am not there yet, but close, I find myself running around like a crazed person.
For not knowing the facts about the purchase of Part B under the Medicare plan, I actually purchased a plan for $174.00 per month. I am still in the process of attempting to get that money back. However, doing further research allowed me to find a plan for $113.00 per month.
What Did I learn here?
The purchase of a Plan B supplement is the same as buying a new car. One dealer may charge you $5,000.00 or more for the same car you could have purchased across the street. So please shop around.
If you are ineligible to collect Social Security benefits because you didn’t pay enough quarters into the plan, you may have to pay for Part A under Medicare. I was told by Social Security (herein after SS) the monthly payment would be around $400.00. I was taken aback. The exception to this rule is, since my spouse worked and paid into the SS system, I would be factored in through her, and will not have to pay for Part A. What a relief.
I really don’t understand the math with SS. My spouse after working for more than 35 years recently applied for her SS benefits. In so doing, she was told that I (husband) would not be eligible to receive any benefits in the event of her death, even if she expired after receiving the first check. I learned that by a few dollars, my retirement income exceeds the amount which would make me eligible to receive any of her funds. In order words, although she paid into the system for more than 35 years, and since she has no dependent children; all that money will go to the SS trust fund.
I realize that in many cases folks who live longer receive more than they put in. I am also aware that many folks expire before collecting one dime. In my case, although I paid into SS, inasmuch as I didn’t have the necessary quarters, I am ineligible in that regard. I will never see the money I paid into the system. In the case of my spouse and others like her, it is a shame that they cannot contribute to their grand-kids education in the event of their demise.
For your edification, I have included additional facts from SS:
If you work while getting Social Security survivors benefits and are younger than full retirement age, your benefits may be reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits.
If you have been divorced, your former wife or husband who is age 60 or older (50-59 if disabled) can get benefits if your marriage lasted at least 10 years.
If you are getting benefits as a wife or husband based on your spouse’s work, when you report the death to us, we will change your payments to survivors’ benefits.
If the person who dies has no surviving spouse or children who qualify for Social Security survivors benefits, the money the deceased person and his or her employers have paid in during the person’s working years remains in the Social Security trust fund. It cannot be paid to any survivors or heirs who do not qualify under the Social Security survivors benefits eligibility rules. That is because Social Security taxes do not “belong” to the person who pays them but to the Social Security system as a whole. Social Security taxes go into a general Social Security fund from which people are provided benefits regardless of whether the amount they personally paid into the system is enough to cover the benefits they collect over a lifetime. In other words, some people will pay into the Social Security system for a long time but collect benefits for only a short time (or not at all), while other people collect benefits for a very long time even though they only paid into the Social Security fund for a relatively short time.