Saturday, January 09, 2021

When should you take Social Security benefits? There are more viewpoints than you think


Herald Harbor MD, July 2020

The Motley Fool reminds retirees that for many of us, it makes sense to take your benefit not before full retirement age, and indeed to wait to age 70-1/2, because the guaranteed benefit for life will be more.

You can also pay more into Social Security while you are working and guarantee a higher benefit.  That is little known.

But of course you have to think about extreme political circumstances, like Trump’s wanting to stop FICA taxes.   That could lead to sudden means testing.

The other problem that until about 2002 or so, corporate employers expected people to retire in their late 50s and set up social security offsets (in pension plans) predicated on starting social security at 62. That idea wasn’t sustainable because of lower birth rates and longer life spans.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

How soon will independent people over 75 get vaccines (the first shot or an mNRA)

Key West FL 2017

There are reports from Texas and Florida of seniors waiting in line for hours (perhaps drivein) to get vaccinated, apparently under the order 1(b).

Corky Siemaszko writes about the situation in Florida for NBCNews.  

In Virginia, the Fairfax County Health Department has a typical statement.  Only Phase 1A is available right now, which comprises health care personnel and long term care residents.  Those over 75 who live independently (like me) are not yet eligible.  I believe we could be by around Feb. 1.  First responders were not mentioned.

According to the New York Times, Virginia got about 480,000 doses in December, of which 72150 are Pfizer.

The AARP has an article Dec. 21 by Andrew Soergel which gives a perspective on how quickly older independent Americans can get vaccinated. 

Friday, December 25, 2020

Debate on who should get the vaccines first. The elderly (save lives and reduce ICU); workers (the economy, and, yes, race)


NYC 2015

The AARP, in a story by Jessica Ravitz, explains “What it’s like to get the COVID-19 vaccine: Older Americans open up”.  

The persons were older health care workers.

However the CDC has prioritized all persons 75 and older under track 1-B, as in this PDF and this NYTimes article 12/20 by Jan Hoffman et al.

Kesley Piper explains for Vox the debate at  the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and there was a nasty idea that if elderly were given high priority (to save lives and reduce hospitalizations), too many white people would benefit proportionally.

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Proposal to make Social Security benefits "flat"


MacKenzie Sigalos reports for CNBC on a plan to pay Social Security benefits at a flat rate.

Gradually, benefits for higher earners would be reduced.  But they are also affected by the year collection of benefits started.

This would result in lower FICA taxes, and would tend to look at social security as welfare than as asn under-the-table annuity.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

As winter approaches, humidity levels in buildings may affect seniors' exposure to the novel coronavirus


Bruce Y. Lee has a piece in Forbes about why the second wave of coronavirus is exploding, eight reasons to enumerate. 

One of them is particularly significant.  When air indoors (and maybe outdoors) is drier, droplets evaporate partially, leaving what remains even smaller and more likely to hang in the air.  This could cause more problems in office buildings or especially elevators, unless there are efforts perhaps to rehumdify the air.  In extreme cases, vulnerable persons of seniors who have been OK in the summer might be at more risk buildings don’t humidify air in common areas.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Can elderly coronavirus patients be sent to hospice?


Can someone with COVID19 go to hospice if terminal?

Apparently, only if they already had a terminal condition (life expectancy less than 6 months) other than Covid, according to this Webmd article

Some persons, if faced with ventilator or a lifetime of severe disability, might not want further treatment, simply be given a sedative and allowed to die.  This may be true of some persons who have lived alone, been productive, and do not accept the idea of disability as a result of essentiallya wartime-like catastrophe.

Treatment with a ventilator and or ECHMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and possibly lung transplants may become less common, as proning and other drug treatments get better.

Availability of antibody treatments may also make these less likely, but some protocols are not offered to age less than 65.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Biden sounds generous with Social Security recipients, will raise FICA taxes on high earners with doughnut hole (with Congress, that is)


Biden seems prepared to be reasonably generous to existing Social Security beneficiaries.

He wants to create a doughnut hole for FICA taxes for high earners, picking up at $400,000.

He also wants to provide some sort of break in credit for worked quarters and lifetime earnings for those affected by pandemic layoffs.

He may add benefits to some social security recipients affected by the pandemic.

The CNBC story by Lorie Konish.

Trump had made the reckless promise of stopping all FICA taxes, which would have required immediate means testing for current recipients.