Financial planners are telling the truth…the sooner you begin your financial planning, the better off you will be. It’s best to stay informed and have a baseline of your current and future financial needs.

Keep in mind, Social Security replaces about 40 percent of the average worker’s pre-retirement earnings. Doesn’t sound too bad. However, most financial advisors will tell you that upwards of 70 percent or more of pre-retirement earnings will be needed to live comfortably. So more than likely, you also will need spending money from other savings, investments, pensions or retirement accounts to make sure you have financial security to live comfortably when you retire.

Question:
My husband doesn’t have enough work credits to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits. Can he qualify on my record?

Answer:
A spouse receives one-half of the retired worker’s full benefit unless the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age. If the spouse begins collecting benefits before full retirement age, the amount of the spouse’s benefit is reduced by a percentage based on the number of months before he or she reaches full retirement age.

DISABILITY
Question:
I currently receive Social Security disability benefits. I now have a second serious disability. Can my monthly benefit amount be increased?

Answer:
No. Your Social Security disability benefit amount is based on the amount of your lifetime earnings before your disability began and not the number of disabling conditions or illnesses you may have.

Question:
Is there a time limit on how long I can collect Social Security disability benefits?

Answer:
No. Your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition has not improved and you remain unable to work. Your case will be reviewed at regular intervals to determine whether you still are disabled. If you are receiving disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, those benefits will automatically convert to retirement benefits without any changes in your payment amount.

For more additional information on some/all of the above, I recommend visting: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs or http://www.socialsecurity.gov/disability

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: jdmiller@homecarepartners.biz ; or online at: www.homecarepartnersma.com

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