Page 18 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - January 2018 - 25-01
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Page 18
Senior Times - January 2018
Updates On Your
Thomas J. Unger, ACSW Patricia D. Slayton, RN, MSN
5350 Beckley Rd, Suite D
(Side door of Southern Michigan Bank & Trust)
Wishing you & your family a Happy New Year!
 Aide & Companion Service  Dementia Capable
Trained Staff
 Medication Set-Up
 Housekeeping &
Transportation  Nursing Services  All Employees
Screened & Bonded
60+ Years of Qualified Experience
Deciding when to start receiving your retirement benefits from Social Security is a decision that only you can make. There are a lot of important questions to answer.
Should you claim benefits earlier and get a smaller monthly payment for more years? Or should you wait and get a bigger monthly amount over a shorter period?
There are no right or wrong answers, but we encourage you to consider these four important questions as you plan for your financially secure retirement:
How much money will I need to live comfortably in retirement? Anticipate what your expenses will
be in retirement, including things like mortgage payments or rent, utilities, healthcare insurance and related costs, food, personal care, car payments and maintenance, entertainment, hobbies, travel, and credit card or other debt.
What will my monthly Social Security retirement benefit be?
The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker in 2018 is $1,404 (up from $1,377 in 2017). The average monthly Social Security benefit for a disabled worker in 2018 is $1,197 (up from $1,173 in 2017). As a remind- er, eligibility for retirement benefits still requires 40 credits (usually about 10 years of work).
Will I have other income to sup- plement my Social Security benefits? Secure your financial future with a retirement portfolio that includes sav- ings, investments, and possibly a pen- sion plan. You may choose to increase your income by working past retirement age. Social Security replaces a percent- age of a worker’s pre-retirement income based on your lifetime earnings. Most financial advisors say you will need about 70 percent of pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retire- ment.
How long do I expect my retirement to last?
Anticipate the length of your retire- ment, keeping in mind that many
American workers will live much lon- ger than the “average” retiree. Consider your health, family longevity, and life- style. Your Social Security retirement benefits will provide continuous income for as long as you live.
Discover your life expectancy with our online calculator at www. longevity.
If you’ve contributed enough to the Social Security system through FICA payroll taxes, you can receive your
full retirement benefit at age 66 or 67 depending on when you were born. You may also claim it sooner, starting at
age 62, at a permanently reduced rate. Or you may wait until after your full retirement age, increasing your benefit amount by up to eight percent per full year to age 70.
Social Security is with you through life’s journey, and we’re here to help you prepare for a financially secure future for you and your family. We invite you to use our online retirement planners at planners/retire/.
You can set up your personal my Social Security account today for more information. It is secure and gives you ready access to your earnings records, Social Security benefit estimates,
and printable Statements. Those who already receive benefits can view their payment history, current status, and manage their benefits.
If you don’t have a my Social Security account, creating a secure account is very easy to do and usually takes less than 15 minutes.
Putting you in control of your future is a key part of securing today and tomorrow. With my Social Security, you have the power to steer your future in the direction you deserve.
Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You
can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49525 or via email at
Vonda VanTil, Special to Senior Times
Branch Area Transit Authority
Curb to Curb Transportation  Half Fare for Handicapped & Senior Citizens Over 60  Weekly Subscriptions Available  Equipped for the Handicapped  Open Seven Days a Week
CALL (517) 278-5889
306 S. Clay Street, Coldwater, MI 
Happy New Year! We made it through the busy holiday season and now it’s time to relax a little and stay in from the cold and snowy weather. Nothing fits the bill for these kinds of days than a bowl of hot soup. Demanding little attention, the slow cooker gives you the time to start one of the new books you got for Christmas!
Turkey Wild Rice Slow-Cooker Soup
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 2 stalks of celery, chopped
• 2 carrots, chopped
• 2 cups smoked turkey, cubed (ask
for thick slice from deli to cube) • 1⁄2 cup uncooked wild rice
• 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
• 2 teaspoons onion powder
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
• 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
• 3 1⁄2 cups chicken broth (or 3 1⁄2
cups water and 1-1 1⁄2 tablespoons
Better than Bouillon)
• 1 cup frozen peas
• 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk • 1/3 cup flour
Instructions: Heat butter and olive oil in skillet and sauté onions for about 5 minutes.
Spray a 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the sautéed onions along with celery, carrots, turkey, wild rice, and spices and pour broth over top. Cover and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or until rice is cooked and vegetables are tender. Stir peas in and cook another 15 min- utes.
In small bowl, whisk milk and flour together and then stir into the soup and cook another 20 minutes or until soup has thickened. Serve with hearty crusty bread. Freeze any left- overs for another day.
Joanna Stelloh Phelps, Special to Senior Times

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