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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Social Security and Medicare,3rd Edition Paperback – November 2, 2010

19 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1615640126 ISBN-10: 1615640126 Edition: 3rd

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lita Epstein, MBA, is a seasoned financial writer who develops online courses about investing for retirement and finance and investing for women. A former congressional press secretary, she has extensive knowledge of the process within the agencies in Washington. She is the author of Alpha Teach Yourself Retirement Planning in 24 Hours and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Supreme Court.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha; 3 edition (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1615640126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1615640126
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I enjoy translating complex financial and political topics critical to people's everyday life in language that can be easily understood. I do this through my non fiction "how to" books for the Dummies series and the Idiot's Guides. I have more than 25 finance and political books on the market. Prior to writing books, I've worked as a daily newspaper reporter, a magazine editor, a press secretary for a U.S. Congressman and a fund raiser for former President Jimmy Carter, so he can continue his international work through The Carter Center. I earned my MBA at Emory University's Goizueta Business School and my BA at Rutgers University.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Robert Brown on November 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although this book covers a lot of ground and is fairly readable, two misstatements and one key omission may actually lead to some bad decisions:
a) The book says there is a 10% tax penalty for withdrawals from a qualified plan (such as 401k) under age 59.5 unless one of a list of exceptions apply..one of which is "leaving a job involuntarily after you reach age 55". But there is no penalty for withdrawals under those circumstances if you leave voluntarily and the rule is that you turn 55 that year (you can retire earlier than your birthday).
b) The book says "when you decide on an age for retirement...there is no going back". Actually if you file a "withdrawal of claim" and pay back the benefits you've recieved, you get a fresh start.
c) A very important option for married couples: if a dependent (i.e. lower earning) spouse wants to start collecting the spouse benefit but the primary earner wants to defer collecting, that can be done (the primary earner has to "file and suspend" for his benefit). A couple of recent studies have demonstrated that this is oftern the best option.

In combination, I think these defects really impair the usefulness of the book.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By CastleHill on December 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
With 65 approaching, I had many questions about Medicare and all the issues that accompany this difficult subject. Instead of "reading" the book, I used it as a reference for specific questions, and it provided the answers which brought the subject of Medicare into focus. The chapters were named very simply making it easy to navigate through the book without getting involved in the minutiae of these complicated subjects.

A book I would recommend for anyone approaching 65.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on October 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
The second edition of SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE is a top pick any public library will want to include in their collection. It updates all information on rules, coverage, benefits and more, providing tips on everything from timing retirement benefits to understanding how divorce and death affects social security benefits. An ever-increasing population of baby boomers will find it useful.

Diane C. Donovan

California Bookwatch
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By audiobook maven on June 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to learn more about Medicare. To my disappointment, it only contains several chapters on Medicare. The book is really about retirement with chapters on making the most of your benefits and living on your retirement income...that sort of thing. The content on Medicare is superficial and at this point out of date (the copyright is 2006). DEFINITELY not for a professional who wants detailed information on the program!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By H. Ferguson on March 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not as extensive as I thought it would be. Good explanations, however. Somewhat useful for a first book on Social Security.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Lyle K. Hardesty on December 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
I found the Idiot's Guide to be very informative. It answered most of my questions, and told me where to find to answers to those questions that it didn't answer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danny Hattaway on May 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What I read was informative, but may not be what I NEED! I have a problem with getting the correct coverage. I am a cancer patient and have to make sure my medications are all covered.

I am on a special program where a lot of my medications are paid for through "patient assistance". I can't have any drug programs with my social security program. If I want to have my prescriptions paid for and furnished by pharmaceuticals.

I'll continue to look for better ways to handle my meds.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charles Drinnan on December 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
While the book seems relatively current regarding procedures its examples are out of date. The book didn't answer a lot of my questions.
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