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Out There

I've started to notice the first of the Monarch butterflies beginning their annual migration to Mexico and our patch of chives and pineapple sage has been attracting enormous flocks of regal fritillaries, Skippers, Sulphurs and Painted Ladies butterflies. And everywhere there is a damp spot, crowds of the tiny long-tailed Blue butterflies accumulate.

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Ask Rusty – Widow Unsure About Her Social Security Benefits

Dear Rusty: I am looking for information on my Social Security survivor benefits from my husband. I just turned 65 and have been collecting my Social Security widow’s benefit since I was 60. Someone told me that I should take my own Social Security and half of my deceased husband’s. I am not sure if that’s what I should do. Should I stay as I am until age 70 and then look into this option? Is it even an option? I’m just not sure. I work part time because the widow’s benefit just isn’t enough to pay my bills. I know there must be others out there as unsure as I am. Signed: Unsure Widow

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The Whole Package

Throughout the early part of my life, I was a competitive athlete participating in football, track, and Olympic weightlifting. I dealt with dozens of coaches throughout these competitive pursuits. Great coaches are a combination of cheerleaders and task masters. They constantly praise you for what you’ve done while encouraging you to do better. My late, great friend and mentor, legendary Coach John Wooden—whom the record books will confirm as the greatest coach of all time—often told me, “Some of my players needed a comforting pat on the back, and others need a pat a bit lower and lot harder.”

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Social Security Matters

Dear Rusty: We served overseas for several years, not earning many quarters for Social Security. However, we have made sure that we paid in over time so we can receive a benefit, but it will not amount to much. For the past several years now, we have been back in the US, earning some professional salaries. Now it looks like at full retirement age my husband will get $1147/month, and I will get $1026/ month. I was born in 1957 and my husband in 1956. Question #1: For the most financial benefit, when should we each start collecting SS (either now or at full retirement age)? And question #2: Will our amounts change because we are married and both collecting? Signed: Overseas Worker


Belle Plaine News

P.O. Box 128
Belle Plaine, KS 67013