Credit freezes are free under a federal law that just went into effect. Learn how to protect your credit.
From the AARP Bulletin Print Edition, January 1, 2011
Social Security — when to start?
I take exception to one piece of advice in "25 Top Questions & Answers on Social Security" [December], which boils down to: Wait as long as possible to collect your benefit. The author's math emphasizes only the increase in the benefit the longer one waits, and ignores the fact that one would be collecting the reduced benefit for a longer period of time. Using his figures ($1,000/mo. @ age 62 vs. $1,333/mo. @ age 66), the break-even age would be just over 78, since 16 years at $1,000/mo. and 12 years at $1,333/mo. are both about $192,000. It would seem to make sense to collect early and invest it, unless one's family history suggests a long life.
Richard G. LeSchander
Harvey Cedars, N.J.
Several months ago, I received a notice in the mail saying that I'd won a BIG sweepstakes, and that when I paid the "mandatory processing fee" of $11.43, I would get the prize ["New Math Pays Off," Scam Alert]. The sender even thoughtfully included a slip I could fill out for my credit card info.
So, I obliterated my name and address, and mailed everything to a post office box (always a P.O. box, never a street address) in Kansas City, Kan., United States of America.
I would love to have been the ol' fly on the wall when the folks there read what I'd scribbled: "I've gotten better crap online from Nigeria."
Thank you for bringing finance expert Jane Bryant Quinn to the pages of the AARP Bulletin ["From a Hedgehog to a Fox"].
She arrives just in time for many of us "hedgehogs" who can still benefit from her commonsense approach to personal finances, and her humor, to put retirement matters (including recent financial losses) into perspective.
The article about Medicare plans ["What You Need to Know for 2011"] states that a higher premium is based on "taxable income." Medicare calculates premiums based on "modified adjusted gross income," not taxable income. Medicare adds together adjusted gross income and tax-free income (as in municipal bonds) to come up with a higher income, the MAGI.
Judith D. Ginn
Editor's note: For fuller information on calculating Medicare premiums, you can go to: ssa.gov/pubs/10536.html.
We appreciate hearing from you. Write to: Bulletin Editor, Dept. RF, 601 E St. NW, Washington, DC 20049; or e-mail to: Bulletin@aarp.org. Please include your address and phone number.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Members save 20% on all personal checks, business checks and tax forms, and accessories.
Members get exclusive discounts and assistance from travel agents.
Members can apply for term coverage from AARP Life Insurance Program from New York Life.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at