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John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

3 Good Reasons to Take Social Security Early

March 6, 2018 1:18 am

Retirees can file for their Social Security benefits at any age between 62 and 70 or older.

The customary advice is to hold off as long as possible, because the longer you wait to claim your benefits, the larger your monthly check will be—and the difference can be considerable.

But there are three good scenarios, say personal finance experts at, when it makes good sense to take benefits earlier:  

You need the money. If you don’t have enough savings to live on, or can’t—or don’t want to—take another job, it makes sense to claim benefits at 62. But remember: if you do take a job before full retirement age—65 to 67 depending on when you were born—your benefits will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earn above $16,920 (until you reach full retirement age.)

Longevity doesn’t run in your family. Experts suggest you do a break-even analysis of your benefits. Say, for example, you would be entitled to monthly benefits of $1,529 at age 62 as opposed to $2,273 at 67 and $2,873 at age 70. If you claim benefits at 62, you will have received over $100,000 by the time you’re 67. If you wait until you’re 67, it will take until you’re about 78 before the accumulated benefits would overtake the total you would have received if you had started taking benefits at 62. So, if you don’t expect to live until age 78—and that’s a tough call even if your parents died early—it makes sense to claim benefits earlier. Check your estimated benefits on the website of the Social Security Administration and run your own break-even analysis.  

You have plenty of money saved. If you have enough money to live on in retirement without your Social Security benefit, you may want to claim early anyway, and use the extra income to invest, buy long-term care insurance, or buy more life insurance. But it is a choice, because you will receive a higher monthly benefit the longer you wait. Also, if you’re married, remember that when you die, your spouse can choose the higher of their benefit or yours, so waiting longer to claim might be helpful to your spouse if you were the higher earner.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


Aging in Place With Assistive Technology

March 6, 2018 1:18 am

(Family Features)--Most Americans want to stay in their homes as they age. Not a bad plan, but what if your home doesn't fit you as well as it once did?

Often, aging can be accompanied by a change in your ability to manage and move around in your home. That's where assistive technology—better known as AT—comes in. No matter your age or what type of disability you may have, chances are there’s an AT device out there that can help you with everyday tasks.

AT isn't a new concept. In fact, most people have probably used an assistive device without realizing it. Smartphones, voice command technology and certain types of software all fall under the AT umbrella. AT also includes plenty of low-tech devices, like adapted pencil grips for students with disabilities.

There's an ever-growing variety of AT tools available to help with household chores, work functions, getting around, seeing, hearing, learning and living independently in general. These devices and technologies are designed to help older adults and people with disabilities, but you may find that these tools can make life easier for anyone.

Examples of AT devices and tools include:

- Hearing aids
- Vehicle modifications, such as hand controls or wheelchair lifts
- Devices that help with bathing and eating
- Software modifications for those with hearing and visual challenges
- Equipment, such as grab bars in a shower, to help prevent falls
- Eyeglasses and magnification devices to help individuals with low vision
- Communication devices for individuals with speech disabilities
- Wheelchairs, walkers and other mobility devices

The right AT for you

At first, trying to find the right AT tools and solutions can feel overwhelming. The network of State Assistive Technology Act Programs is a good place to start. Your state AT Act program can provide information and support to help you identify and acquire AT that meets your needs.

These programs offer:

- Device demonstration and short-term loan programs that allow you to try out equipment before purchasing
- Reuse programs that provide gently used devices at substantial savings
- Financing options, such as cash loan programs, that can help you get the AT devices you need

You can find the AT Act Program in your state or territory at You'll also find additional information on state AT programs, data about the network of state AT programs and additional resources to help you find and obtain AT that fits your needs.

With more research and awareness around the importance of AT, the future possibilities for living independently in the place of your choosing are almost limitless.

Source: Administration for Community Living 

Published with permission from RISMedia.