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Social Security For Dummies Paperback – October 16, 2017
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From the Back Cover
- Make sure you get the benefits you've earned
- Navigate your way around the complex system with ease
- Incorporate Social Security into your financial plan
Your Social Security safety net
Social Security exists to give us peace of mind, yet most of us spend sleepless nights anxious about our finances as we move on to the next phase of life. Luckily, this easy-to-access guide takes the worry out of navigating the complex Social Security system, offering the sound, trusted guidance you need to ensure you're getting the most out of your benefits. In no time, it gives you a clear understanding of when and how to apply so you can rest easy knowing that you and your family are getting the benefits you've earned.
- Get advice on when to start collecting
- Protect your dependents
- File for benefits
- Manage the appeals process
- Get the paperwork right
- Help a loved one apply
- Decipher disability benefits
- Find out how Social Security and Medicare work together
About the Author
Jonathan Peterson, an award-winning journalist, is a former executive communications director at AARP. During his news career, he covered the White House, state and national political campaigns, and various facets of U.S. domestic and economic policy.
Top customer reviews
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Like that first edition, the second carries AARP’s stamp of approval. Also, like the first edition, there isn't a single facet of the programs, benefits, etc. that is not covered thoroughly and well explained. Misnamed, the '...for Dummies' series is, in my opinion, quite good.
This book on Social Security is a terrific resource for anyone wanting to know more. It’s very well-organized, written and in a voice that will not put people to sleep. Any idea how rare that is? I've been doing this for decades and haven't seen another document this well done since, well, the first edition and this one is even better.
The book covers the basics of Social Security and it is well written and coherent. The Social Security booklet on the topic published by the SSA is also pretty well written. What is improved by this book is how they link different strategies about when and how to claim in a way that is actionable and clear. That, the SSA does not do as well. Where there is some grey areas in the SSA documents, this book shines a light into those grey zones to the benefit of the reader and eventual claimant.
My favorite part of this editions is what they call The Part of Tens, which includes chapters 15-17: Ten Myths about Social Security (it smashed a couple of misconceptions I didn’t even know I had), Ten Reasons Young People Should Care About Social Security and Ten Choices Facing the Country about the Future of Social Security. These three sections should be published at the front of the book and maybe even published separately. Well written, well thought out and worth five stars for these chapters alone.
In my humble opinion, voiced relatively quietly from a position of safety ensconced within a book review, I will state that I believe that investing and retirement planning should be mandatory learning in school, probably around the freshman year with follow-ups in sophomore, junior and senior year. This, again in my opinion, is not easy knowledge and knowing it sooner will make it much easier later.
I would like to point out this book makes a very good complement to a financial plan. However, planning for optimizing benefits is not something that is simple and cannot occur in a vacuum. How retirement will work best varies across individuals and may have subtle variables which can cause big changes over the long term. I think that if you are considering when or whether to file for benefits, this book will inform you but the best decisions will be found in obtaining competent advice that looks at the larger picture in context of your overall situation.
In closing, I repeat some advice from the review I did of the first edition: “the only drawback that I can foresee with the book is that it will need updating every year. Cost of living adjustments, changes to taxes, etc. happen nearly every year and this book, relating all of them, will need updating. In short, whether you are a novice or a pro, this book's a real gem. But if you are a pro and depend upon it, you may need to buy it every year.”
As a sidebar, I would recommend talking to a independent financial advisor about your personal situation aa to when to file for Social Security and gain the maximum amount available to you.
It says it's the 3rd edition but I no changes from the 2nd edition. It's strange it's copyrighted 2018 yet I bought it in 2017.
I think many changes have been made that are not in this book.
Several strategies are outdated and no longer apply.