Articles from the December 1, 2017 edition


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  • Explaining the government pension offset

    Kimberly Herrmann, Social Security Administration|Dec 1, 2017

    Getting ready for retirement requires evaluation of all your sources of retirement income. Even if you worked for the government and didn’t pay the FICA tax on your earnings, you may be eligible for benefits from your spouse’s work under Social Security. However, when you receive both your own non-covered government pension and a Social Security spousal benefit, your Social Security benefit may be reduced. The Government Pension Offset (GPO) reduces your Social Security benefit by two-thirds of your government pension. Why are benefits reduced?...

  • A little problem with a common form

    Kenneth Kirk, For Senior Voice|Dec 1, 2017

    Forms can be helpful. And dangerous. Back in the days when I did a lot of trial work, I encouraged the court system to develop forms that people could use for simple matters. I saw a lot of folks who needed some form of relief, but couldn’t afford thousands of dollars to retain an attorney. Forms for simple things like filing a motion in a family law or probate case made a lot of sense. And I still believe in that. However, there is a downside to the use of forms. If you try to use a legal f...

  • Clean screens, facial ID, and moving iTunes

    Bob DeLaurentis, Senior Wire|Dec 1, 2017

    Q. What is the best way to clean the screen on a smartphone or tablet? A. My favorite method is a microfiber towel sold under the trademark Dash Gear (www.cleantools.net/products/dash-gear). I discovered these in a local auto parts store a few years ago. I wipe yesterday’s fingerprints off my iPad and phone each morning. (Dirt on screens is much easier to see in daylight.) If it takes more than a few seconds, I drop the towel into the laundry. Once cleaned, the towel works as good as new. Beware of the term “microfiber.” I have encou...

  • Visit somewhere safe for the holidays

    Dimitra Lavrakas, Senior Voice Travel Correspondent|Dec 1, 2017

    It's hard to ignore the headlines of terrorist attacks on tourists or random acts of violence involving crowds, particularly at popular tourist sites and entertainment venues. It is a sad and frightening time to travel. What to do? The Department of State recently alerted U.S. citizens to the heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe, particularly during the holiday season, advising U.S. citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals and events through Jan. 31, 2018....

  • Traveling with grandkids: What you should know

    Erin Kirkland, For Senior Voice|Dec 1, 2017

    There are two times during the year when grandparents are most likely to travel with their children's children. One is during the time-honored tradition called summer vacation, a relaxed, happy time of bonding activities, lazy schedules and lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors together. The other is during the holidays, a season of joy, certainly, but also with more excitement and potential for stressful situations if families aren't prepared. Those who regularly travel together in a...

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