Taxes on Social Security

A Simplified View

How much you owe in taxes on Social Security income can be a big shock.

I clearly remember that it was one of my Dad’s biggest retirement surprises. He didn’t expect to pay so much in taxes. Yet there it was…a big tax bill in the first year of retirement. Like a lot of other retirees, he didn’t know that up to 85% of his Social Security benefit could be counted as taxable income.

Social Security Tax

Ultimately, we were able to mitigate some of his tax burden, but for some of it, he was stuck.

He didn’t like it and he’s not alone.  Every year individuals retire and are faced with sticker shock when they find out how much they’ll have to pay in taxes on Social Security income. To some, it doesn’t seem fair. You’ve worked for years and paid your Social Security tax as the admission ticket to a Social Security benefit. Now that you’re collecting that benefit, you have to pay taxes?  Again?

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Quantifying The Enormous Value of Your Social Security Income

Quantifying the Value of Social Security Income

If you had to replace your Social Security income, how much would you need? It’s probably more than you think.

The fact is, the income you receive from Social Security may deserve more respect.  For all the years that I’ve helped folks with retirement planning, Social Security income is the only income stream that I’ve seen with the following attributes:

  • It’s adjusted almost every year for inflation
  • It’s not 100% taxable
  • It’s backed by the US Government
  • It will pay you for as long as you live

That’s a long string of benefits for one income source. But back to the question; how much would you need to replace your benefit?

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Texas Long Term Care Medicaid Explained

Answers To The Most Frequently Asked Questions

Seniors holding hands
Long Term Care Medicaid is the federally mandated program that provides access to skilled nursing care for individuals who meet certain requirements.  Although Medicaid is a federally created program, the actual administration of that program is left to the individual states. Because of this division between federally created rules and state administration, there are many specific differences between the states, although the overall rules are generally the same.  Also, the rules change frequently, so from the time a reader starts this article, the rules may change before they even finish the article.  As a result, the following information is for general knowledge and should not be relied upon without the advice of an expert in elder law.

There are a bevy of misconceptions related to Long Term Care Medicaid.  In fact, it is common for families who could be eligible for Medicaid to incorrectly assume that they do not qualify, even before they know the rules.  Even more often, individuals and families will attempt to “plan” for their future Medicaid needs by acting on rumor and the advice of family, neighbors and friends.  Most often, these people find that not only have they acted incorrectly, but that their attempts at “planning” have actually caused more problems than they solved.

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6 Easy-To-Understand Social Security Basics Everyone Should Know.

We’ve all heard that Social Security is really complicated.  In many cases, it is!  However, I’ve found that 80% of the questions are answered with one of the six Social Security basics that everyone should know.

Social Security Basics

For the past three years, studying Social Security has replaced most of my hobbies.  I’ve never considered myself overly academic, but I’ve really enjoyed this pursuit.  But just when I think I have a firm grasp on the program, I learn a new rule that blows my mind.

This shouldn’t surprise me though.  The Social Security Administration has nearly 3,000 rules and a 108,000 page website to filter through when seeking information.  When I first started, this massive website and rule book  felt like drinking from a fire hose.  It was just too much information.  But after spending the last three years studying, speaking and writing on Social Security, I’ve learned that most questions can be answered within one of the six Social Security basics.

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How to Prevent the Leading Cause of Death Among Seniors

Renovating the Home to Provide a Safe Living Environment

Seniors at Home

In our Elder Law practice, many of our client’s most pressing concern is their ability to remain in their home for as long as possible.  In some cases, this desire proves to be impossible because of health issues beyond the client’s control.  For example, a severe stroke that causes paralysis may require almost constant attention that just cannot be provided in a home environment.  However, many of our clients end up unable to continue to live at home because of preventable conditions.  An example of this would be where a person’s health requires they be in a wheel chair, but their household bathroom is too small and therefore inaccessible.  Another example is where the house itself contains tripping hazards that lead to falls which in turn lead to long hospitalizations and possibly nursing home stays.

If a person desires to stay in their home for as long as possible, it is vitally important to make the home into a safe place that will be well suited as the person ages.  Contained in this articles are suggestions and ideas that can be used now to make sure your home will be safe in the future.

One of the biggest risks to seniors is falling.  In fact, falls are the leading cause of death among individuals over age 65.  In an effort to prevent falling, you should consider taking any or all of the following steps:

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The Most Commonly Overlooked VA Benefit

And What It Takes to Get It

Veterans Benefits

Benefits available through the Veterans Administration are the most commonly overlooked benefits available to seniors. Many times, veterans and their spouses make incorrect assumptions related to their entitlement to VA benefits. These individuals will assume that since they did not retire from the military they are not entitled to any benefits from the VA, or they will assume that since they were not injured during their service they are not entitled to any benefits from the VA. While there are in fact benefits available to retired veterans and veterans with service connected disabilities, these are not the only benefits available.

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