Planning for Life

It's Only Fair to Pay Caregivers Above the Table

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on March 3, 2020

By Harry S. Margolis

Social-Security-Benefits-Baby-Boomer-FICA-Medicare-Retirement-Wellesley-MA

The following email I received from a client demonstrates why those of us who hire caregivers, whether for our children, our spouses, or our parents, need to do so above the table, paying our share of FICA:

Dear Atty. Margolis,

I will be turning 65 in April. I went online to MySocialSecurity.gov and learned that my benefits will be about $600 a month. This is devastating to me. I grew up on a farm in South Dakota and I can honestly say that even as a child, I have worked hard all my life.

I was a housekeeper for many years. I lived hand-to-mouth. I worked for many fine families and individuals. Some were doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, government officials, military families, bankers, and even a state supreme court justice. I also worked for ordinary people: moms and dads just trying to make it, gay couples, lesbian couples, young professionals, and students.

Now I am in a place where I have to answer whether I ever worked a job where my income was not reported. What should I say?

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Topics: social security, Caregivers

Social Security Decisions Can Have a Major Impact on Your Benefits

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on July 30, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

Social-Security-benefits-2nd-marriage-estate-planning-attorney-Wellesley-MAIf you are in your 60s, you have some major decisions to make concerning when you begin taking Social Security which can impact your lifetime benefit level and that of your spouse, if any. The longer you postpone receiving benefits up until age 70, the higher your monthly payment will be for the rest of your life. But you may have to live a long time to make up for the years of benefits you will have missed by waiting until age 70.

A colleague who advises clients on these issues recently related a story of how important these choices can be (with some of the facts changed to protect the innocent, and not so innocent). It's also a cautionary tale for lawyers who might advise in areas where they don't know what they don't know.

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Topics: social security

Little-Known Social Security Benefit for Parents of Disabled Children

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 17, 2016

By Harry S. Margolis

Social-Security-benefit-disabled-child-special-needs-planning-Wellesley-MA

One of our clients recently brought to our attention a Social Security benefit that was news to us. He and his wife care for their adult daughter with a disability in their home. Our client retired and began receiving Social Security benefits. As a result, his daughter was able to drop her Supplemental Security Income and switch over to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), a much better benefit for a number of reasons.

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Topics: social security, disability

Why We Should Keep Baby Boomers on the Job

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on September 15, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

Baby-Boomer-Postpone-Retirement-Social-Security-Wellesley-MA

Baby boomers—those born between 1944 and 1964—aged now between 55 and 75, are retiring in droves... 10,000 a day by one measure, and will continue to do so for the next two decades. Unfortunately, neither they nor our national economy can afford this. The economy needs skilled and experienced workers, even if some may not be totally up-to-speed on the latest social media phenomena. And few baby boomers have sufficient savings to see themselves through a long retirement. Those savings are more important than ever, since very few baby boomer retirees will have pensions.

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Topics: baby boomers, social security

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