I just released a new book. It’s called “Social Security: 100 Myths and 100 Facts.”
You can get a printed copy of the book for less than $10 on Amazon.com. You can get an electronic version of the book at barnesandnoble.com and other online booksellers.
Regular readers of this column may recall that I have written dozens of previous columns debunking various Social Security myths floating around the internet and passed on, usually via emails, from one unsuspecting (and sometimes gullible) recipient to the next. Others.
In most of those columns I usually only have room to address three or four such myths. And every time I write a column like this, I usually say something like this: “If I had the space, I could probably write a column debunking 100 Social Security myths.”
Well, I’ve finally decided to make the space by putting all these myths—and more importantly, all the accompanying facts—in one, easy-to-read book.
I think the best way to introduce you to the book is to reprint here the introduction that you find at the very beginning of the new book. It goes like this:
“Social security touches the life of every American. We all have a social security number. Most of us work in jobs where Social Security taxes are deducted from our paychecks, while others run their own businesses and pay self-employment taxes to the Social Security system.
Sixty-five million people receive monthly Social Security checks.
They are either receiving retirement or disability benefits, or they are the spouse or child of someone who receives such benefits, or they are the widow, widower, or child of a deceased employee.
The $1 trillion funding of the Social Security program makes up about a quarter of the entire United States federal budget.
So a government program this huge and affecting all of us will undoubtedly be the focus of many rumours, misunderstandings, half-truths and outright lies.
I’ve spent the past half century debunking all those myths. And now, for the first time, I’ve put together a list of the 100 best Social Security myths in one, easy-to-read and easy-to-understand guide.
Those myths can be roughly divided into two categories. One that I will call “political and policy myths.” These myths often have to do with how the Social Security program is funded.
But I suspect most people reading this book will be more interested in the second broad category, which I’ll call “Program and Practical Myths.” These are myths about the rules and regulations for each of the different types of Social Security benefits — essentially, who qualifies for which benefits, when they qualify, and how they get those benefits.
Here are just a few of the politically oriented myths I cover in the first part of the book.
• Social security goes bankrupt. (Hint: The program has fiscal problems that can be solved, and those reforms will keep the system from collapsing.)
•Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
•The government has stolen social security money and used it for other purposes.
•Illegal immigrants receive social security benefits.
The second half of the book covers myths about programs and policies and is further divided into sections that clarify myths about retirement benefits, spouse and widow benefits, child support, disability benefits, and supplemental security incomes. There’s also a little section on Medicare myths — though, as I always tell my readers, I’m a Social Security expert, but not much of a Medicare expert.
Here’s a sampling of the myths covered in the program and policy section of the book.
•My pension benefit is based on my highest income in three years (or the last five, or the highest 10 – just choose your number).
•If I stop working or work part-time before starting my Social Security I will ruin my future Social Security check.
• There are secret or hidden rules about social security.
•I can get a reduced benefit from my spouse and later switch to a full benefit in my own state.
•All applications for incapacity for work are rejected the first time.
•Children can only receive benefits from the social security file of a deceased parent.
My loyal readers will know that I have written another book on Social Security. It’s called “Social Security: Simple and Smart – 10 Easy to Understand Fact Sheets That Will Answer All Your Social Security Questions.” While there is undoubtedly some overlap in topics covered in two Social Security books, there are important differences between my two books.
I recommend that you read the book “Simple and Smart” if you are looking for a practical guide to how Social Security works, with important information about how and when to apply for different types of Social Security benefits and tips for dealing with problems that arise. occur as soon as your benefit starts.
And you should read the book “Myths/Facts” if you are tired of hearing and seeing all the Social Security secrets out there, mostly polluting the online world, and if you just want to know the truth.
If you have a Social Security question, Tom Margenau has two books with all the answers. One is called “Social Security: Simple and Smart”. The other is called “Social Security: 100 Myths and 100 Facts.” You can find books on Amazon.com or other bookstores.