Social Security Retirement : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread

I just found out I do not qualify for Social Security Disability because I did not work off the farm all these years. I also am told that I will not have full Social Security when I retire(if I make it that long) All we would have had to do is pay me a wage of $3500 a year and pay in extra $400.00 for Social Security. I could not drive to town to work for that $400.00 a year. We farm and I have put in my fair share of the work around here. I think I was worth $3500.00 a year. Now we don't know what to do about all of it. I was diagnosed with scleroderma 6 years ago. People do not understand the fatigue and weakness that goes with this disease. It is 40 miles to town one way. I am writing this to warn others before this happens to someone else. If you are self employed maybe you should think about this.

-- Cindy Herbek (, October 11, 2001


A way to do this, is to run the business in the wife's name if they materially participate in the business. Any tax preparer can show you the criteria that needs to be met. It is not hard to do and if you are working on a farm I am sure you would meet the qualifications. Usually the husbands have enough credits because of previous work. If not you could divide the business into 2 seperate concers: example one spouse is the owner of the milking operation, one is the owner of the hay and selling of excess cattle. You get the idea, whatever applies in your case. This may mean you have to file seperately, but in a case like yours it would have been well worth it. This is all perfectly legal as long as you meet the criteria.

The Social Security Administation is now mailing Benefits and Earnings Statements to each person about 2 months before your Birthday. This details your potential benefits and lets you know the amounts you have made in the past. If you have never received one I would get in touch with your local office and request one. I am sorry for your plight, I wish your tax-preparere had gone over this with you, but so many don't and people usually find out the hard way.

-- Melissa (, October 11, 2001.

Check into SSI (supplemental security income). You will likely qualify as no work record is required. Granted it is not as generous as regular social security, but with appropriate frugality it will help keep your body and soul together. Upon death of your spouse (God forbid, but this is something you need to know) you will be given a choice of the widow's share of his social security or SSI. At that point stay with the program that does the best for you. SSi will likely pay all medical bills. Regular social security most likely will not.

-- Sandra Nelson (, October 12, 2001.

I did check into SSI. They told us we would have to sell part of the farm before I would qualify. The part we would have to sell would be the original Herbek homestead. It has been in the family for 100 years. It won't happen if I can help it. I only wrote all of this to warn others that there is something you can do to help yourself if you are self emloyed. Cindy

-- Cindy Herbek (, October 13, 2001.

I remember many years ago when I heard that there was a way to opt out of Social Security. I thought that it would be the way to go. We would save that money every month and be way ahead of the game come retirement time. Well we all know how that would have worked out. A little here and a little there and there would be nothing left at retirement or disability time.

I am currently disabled getting Social Security, a small amount because of homesteading for many years. I didn't work as much in town as many others did, so I didn't pay as much in as others. I guess you can't expect to get as much out at retirement if you didn't pay a lot in.

I used to be a tax preparer. If I had a dollar for everyone I told about this exact type of thing, I could retire a wealthy man. No one expects to be disabled. Unfortunately almost no one really plans well for the future. At 25 we are all invincible, remember (all of us having a senior moment every now and then.) As far as starting a business goes it would be a good idea if at all possible, but remember that you must be unable to work for 6 months before you can apply for disability on social security. You can only make $700 a month or less or you risk loosing all benefits. They have your where they want you.

Talk to you later.

-- Bob in WI (, October 14, 2001.

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