Press Releases

AMAC: Retirees ‘Ill-Informed’ About Social Security

New Web site offers a comprehensive source of information on the future of Social Security

dan-featuredby John Grimaldi

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar 14 – A new study shows that Americans nearing retirement age are ill-informed about their Social Security options, according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens. He said that AMAC’s establishment of a dedicated Social Security Web site,, was designed to provide a comprehensive source of answers to top-of-mind retirement issues.

The study Weber cited was conducted by the retirement consulting firm, Financial Engines, and it showed confusion over the optimal age to begin collecting benefits is widespread. It also revealed that, as a result, many retirees apply at too early an age resulting in significant long-term losses.

“Many retirees and near-retirees are simply unaware of their Social Security claiming options. And this lack of knowledge means they could be leaving significant money on the table — to the tune of as much as $100,000 or more for individuals and $250,000 or more for married couples,” the consulting firm noted in a news release issued this week.

Weber pointed out that “there’s a tendency to opt for early retirement and begin collecting benefits at age 62. But the experts will tell you that the longer you wait, the more you’ll get in monthly payments—25% more at age 66 and 76% more at age 70.”

The AMAC chief noted that medical breakthroughs and better living standards have been increasing the longevity of Americans consistently over the last several decades. The Social Security Administration figures that a 65 year old today will live, on average, until his or her mid-80’s, he said, “making it well worth the waiting for most individuals.” But, he added, selecting the right age at which to retire is an important decision that should be made on an individual basis. “There is no one-size-fits-all option.”

Weber said that the study points out that most people are uninformed about how Social Security works. “More important, it shows that all of us need to get involved in ensuring the preservation of Social Security for we older Americans and for our children and grandchildren. Our Web site presents AMAC’s views on what can and what must be done to fix the problems evident in Social Security as it stands today. It also provides links to analyses of alternate proposals aimed at maintaining Social Security solvency.”

NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Editors and reporters may contact John Grimaldi by phone at 917-846-8485 or via email at [email protected] to set up a call.

The Association of Mature American Citizens [] is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation. Where those other organizations may boast of their power to set the agendas for their memberships, AMAC takes its marching orders from its members. We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests, and offering a conservative insight on how to best solve the problems they face today. Live long and make a difference by joining us today at

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6 years ago

When the prestigious law firm I worked at for 13 years merged with another, my position was among dozens eliminated, laying me off at age 58. I subsisted on unemployment and personal savings while learning that age discrimination is not a myth. A college degree, industry experience, marketable skills and professional appearance never got me past the “over-qualified” rejection when my job applications were responded to at all. After unemployment benefits ran out, my daughter hired me as her childcare provider to help my savings last longer. I am now 61 and my granddaughter soon will attend school. My skills are obsolete, and the last job I applied for was to clean kennels at veterinarian’s office. As usual, they deemed me “over-qualified.” I have funds in a 401k that I could move into an IRA and nibble from until I reach full retirement age, but sense taking SS at 62 is the wiser choice. I figure that if I die early, then the SS payments stop and there’s nothing to leave my heirs. But if I subsist on reduced benefits at 62, my 401k can continue to grow (hopefully more than the 8% increases of SS benefits per year), AND, if I die early, my 401k funds will be distributed to my heirs. Also, the very fact that the government strives to control when to begin benefits by diverting attention to what COULD be rather than how our lives will be improved by whatever amount we get at 62 makes me wary of waiting. I would rather make the most of what I have than risk the opportunity for the sake of what I MIGHT get.

Jacalyn Manhardt
6 years ago

webpage i congratulate the owner number one

pete osmun
7 years ago

am on aarp now and wish to come over to amac how would I do this and get of aarp ?

7 years ago
Reply to  pete osmun

Google and go to red button at top of website to sign up. Call AARP & ask them what you need to do to cancel membership.

7 years ago

If you are presently employed with insurance, check with your company as to whether it is creditable. We did our research on this and found out our drug coverage will cost us more when we apply for Medicare B and drug coverage. This was a surprise to us.
An article in Deseret News, March 17, 2014 under Moneywise is an excellent article that refers to the IRS with a quick way to know when Social Security benefits are taxable. It also answers other questions you might have. I have referred this to other friends I know.
It is difficult to find answers. We are now discussing these questions with others. Then we are doing the research.
Also be aware of Veteran benefits if you or your spouse served one day in a war. Both of you can receive benefits when advanced care is needed. It used to be called “Aid and Attendance.” I don’t know if they still call it that now. When I used this for my father one could have $70,000 in assets and still receive it. Sometimes it can also be combined with medicaid when most of the assets have been used. A spouse is also able to receive benefits. Both can be at least partially covered in burial at a military cemetery. We buried my parents at a private cemetery and received a cemetery headstone, I think it was free.

Mike ES
7 years ago

I am 63 and recently retired. I have run all the numbers and you can make a case either way for collecting now or postponing SS.
My one big fear is that what will SS be in the near future (3-5years). If I start collecting now, will I be grandfathered in and exempt from any future tinkering with SS payments? Or do I wait and run the risk of my benefits being reduced…then what did I wait for?

7 years ago
Reply to  Mike ES

I agree. If you receive benefits at age 62, you will receive nearly $90,000 before your “normal” retirement. The breakeven point is about age 80.

7 years ago

Where is the best place to go to find out SS rules/laws for ex-spouses to collect SSI benefilts?

7 years ago

the amount of money you finally get IMO should not be the only reason to decide.

some folks need the money now, others do not. Also I feel that have the money now helps with the years my wife and I can do a lot of the things we want to do. I am sure at 80 we will no longer pulling the boat with the MH and staying in a remote camp site fishing etc.

there are lots of reasons but I do agree that if a person/couple does not need it the wait. I have had a few friends that waited and before drawing any SS they passed away.

lots to think about but in no way do I think every person should do the same thing. do what is best for you.

God Bless America

Sandra K. Haas
7 years ago

I was 66 in October of 2013, but had decided to wait on Social Security until age 70. Like most folks my age I wondered if that was a sound financial decision. Our CPA advised me to check into drawing on my husband’s social security until I reach 70. She told me that she thought I was entitled to do so as I am no longer working. I called Social Security and at first was told that was not an option. After doing some checking, the representative came back on the phone and told me I could get approximately half as much as my husband based on his social security entitlement. He had elected to start benefits when he retired at age 65. He is now 71 and deeply regretting that decision. I have an appointment on April 10 and should receive my first check in May (with retroactive payments). I have to go in two to three months before my 70th birthday and convert my payments to my own record. No one tells you about these options or I would have done this last year.

Paul P
7 years ago
Reply to  Sandra K. Haas

Thank you for confirming my thoughts. I’m currently going to be 55 this July and after years of saving want to retire early. I have also just recently learned about the 50% amount the spouse can get (even if never worked) and helped my brother-in-law who was making payments for my sister (self employed) when that wasn’t necessary. We need to spread the word to those that actually worked for a living and the family members that deserve the income.

Mary Kohler
7 years ago

In the press release, the address for the new website is not correct.

Jim Gibson
7 years ago

I chose to start SS at 66. I have been retired from my work since 2003 at the age of 55 after a bout with lung cancer. I waited since then to sign up for SS.I thought I had better get as many payments as I could while I could. But Obammacare is programmed to wipe out Medicare Advantage as we know it so planning is a very confusing matter.

Anyway, as I discovered the hard way, life is very fragile indeed. So earlier SS payments was good for me. A bird in the hand you know…

Paul P
7 years ago
Reply to  Jim Gibson

Yep Obama is really tearing apart this country with his lies, planned destruction or plain ignorance. I to am looking at retirement at 55 (July 2014) and if you have any good info on what to watch out for please let me know. I want to try to enjoy some of my more youthful years before hitting 75, my target for really settling down (flower beds, books, pets etc…) Most older will tell me 55 is way to young and I’ll be bored, the younger generation just the opposite, go figure. What is you take on retirement at 55? The home is paid for, two pensions and a good amount saved, then SS when ready.

7 years ago

The answer to this and Medicare are both really quite simple, and one in the same. Stop the fraud and give-a-ways, force the government to return every dollar stolen (with interest and penalties), and change the retirement age back to 65 by honoring the contract with America! You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game even if you are the government!. It must always be remembered that Social Security and Medicare are not the government’s money to do with what they see fit, but the working class tax payers! We are the beneficiaries!

Paul P
7 years ago
Reply to  Gary

That’s a beautiful dream, especially with the current administration and another three years to go. They only believe in the contracts they like and don’t care about the most important people on the planet — The American worker!! hang in there and keep the faith, we WILL win again one day like truth always does.

7 years ago

I’d like to thank the person for pointing out AGE Discrimination is very real and in full effect against us in the work place accross America and you have no EEO rights against it. As a mid level employee with a masters and a solid work history I am constantly passed over as being “over qualified”. Be grateful I have a good paying job at 65…yal, I am, but I’m growing tired of making some one who has no idea what they’re doing look good. Anyway, I’ve passed the 62 window and now am looking at 66 vs 70. The difference in funds can be paid in a lump sum and your monthly check will be on the 66 amount. Unfortunately, like the man said, you’re taxed on the way in and taxed on the way out. So I’ll probably hold out and take the higher monthly check when I loose my payrole check. Most of us still live from paycheck to paycheck to that would fit my lifestyle best.

Phil McNally
7 years ago

to the above comment from Sher at 03/16/2014 &:58 PM: You can SUSPEND it.
Which brings me to a question. I started collecting SS when I turned 66.. I continued to work a full time job. Tax bite was tuff but, extra money. Double taxation! Tax on SS in, and tax out when they give it to you. Back to my question; which is a greater benefit, don’t apply till your 70 or apply at 66 and continue working. Every year they adjust my benefit by 200 a month. I’m also under the government offset because I have a small Federal annuity.

7 years ago

Common understanding in my circle of baby-boomers is that it is not financially sound to put off collecting SS benefits because your odds of collecting as much (use your own figures, but for discussion sake, let’s say you postpone collecting for 3 years: 3X $20K= $60K) that $60Kwill be impossible to re-coup unless you live to your mid to late 80’s–when it is so much less “useful” to you because of senilty, debility or father time!

7 years ago


7 years ago

I am currently employed with a medical plan but will be turning 66 this year. When I retire, I am confused on the medical options I have. Many insurance companies have been sending literature promoting themselves and their services. More confusing than informational.

The way I understand it is that I could go with Plan B and this would allow me to get most med care but then I need to buy a supplemental insurance to cover medicine and possibly an optometrist and dentist separately. Is this correct?

7 years ago
Reply to  Ken

Check with an insurance agent (there should not be a fee for this). They can explain the different plans availabe to you in your area. If you choose to go with an Advantage policy you can’t buy a supplemental. You can only get those if you go with Traditional Medicare. Supplementals cost extra and premiums are paid directly to insurance company.

Jeanne Linn
7 years ago

I just went in and talked to a person at the Social Security Office the other day. She told me you CAN put it on hold after you have started drawing it. In the case that you should happen by some miracle to get a good job again that will cost you. I am considering starting at 62 to get me by and hope that I can find such a thing. But with the age discrimination I have experienced the last few years, I’m not holding my breath!

Jan Kizer
7 years ago

All this comparing is well and good but some of us “retired folk” didn’t or don’t have any choice but to draw s.s. at 62. It was a life-saver. My personal plan was to work well past 66 and retire in comfort but I was laid off from my job at age 60 and couldn’t even buy a new job. Continue working? Sure, if anyone is willing to hire an “old guy”, which just doesn’t happen in the real world. More than a little bitter.

7 years ago

I am collecting SSDI following a six-month stint on privatized long-term disability benefits. I turn 62 Aug. 2014 and have no idea about what I should or should not be doing about filing the required claim for retirement benefits or spousal benefits. Please help!

7 years ago
Reply to  Mary

I don’t think you need to do anything. You’re getting your Social Security through disability, you don’t get both. I know it’s not much, but the disability is more than you would get if you were getting only Social Security.

7 years ago
Reply to  Sher

SSD will convert to regular when you attain regular retirement age. As a SSD recipient you will be receive Mediare two years from your onset date of SSD. It is automatic….hope this helps.

Karen Kettner
7 years ago

I’ve heard the last 5 or 10 years in income earning is the most important. How do I ensure I make a really good benefit when I will retire at in about 3.5 more years -68. I own my own company.

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