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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Social Security

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Has what happened at Enron got you thinking a little more about your retirement; doing a little planning for your personal financial future? If so, and you live in the United States, this is a book you need.
Whether you are about to retire, just beginning to think about it, or helping parents or other retirees, this book can be your roadmap through the complexities of the US Social Security Administration. Author Lita Epstein, a former Congressional press secretary and the Managing Editor of Atlanta's Business To Business magazine, lays out everything you need to know in straight-forward, easy to understand language. The book is structured such that you can read the chapters that interest you and skip others until later.

She begins with the history and purpose of Social Security and then addresses specific topics from when to file to election of survivor benefits. She shows you how to maximize your income from Social Security and to minimize how much of it you have to give up. She concludes with her forecast of the future of Social Security and what can be done to ensure that it survives for future retirees.


  1. Letting the Chicks Out.
    How it all began.
  2. Social Security Grows Up.
    The following years.
  3. Today's Security.
    What's working, what's there, the future.
  4. It's All About Me.
    Your money, what's there for your family.
  5. Following the Rules.
    Your costs, when to cash in, paper protection.
  6. Counting Your Cash.
    Planning and collecting, minimize surprises.
  7. Timing Your Exit.
    Plan your escape.
  8. Picking Up the Pieces.
    Scams, fraud, other losses and what to do.
  9. Partings Not So Sweet.
    Divorce, remarriage and how it affects you.
  10. Hard Choices After the Death of a Spouse.
    Survivor options after death.
  11. Children's Share.
    What's there and when.
  12. Dependent Parents' Slice.
    Your parents and your responsibilites.
  13. Collecting Disability.
    Who, what, when, where and how.
  14. Supplementing Income.
    Getting all the help you are eligible for.
  15. Making Ends Meet.
    Fixed income survivorship.
  16. Working Again.
    Working after retirement age.
  17. Using Your Assets.
    Getting your assets to work for you.
  18. Minimizing the Tax Bite.
    Keep those dollars in your pocket.
  19. Getting Medicare Coverage.
    The good, the bad and the ugly..
  20. What's Missing from Medicare.
    Prescription medication, long-term care and more.
  21. Closing the Gap.
    What's out there and what you should worry about.
  22. Running Out of Money.
    Will it still be there?.
  23. Modernizing Medicare.
    A case for future changes.
  24. Rescuing Social Security.
    What might happen next.
  25. Following the Changes.
    Monitoring the future.

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