GETTING SOME (FINANCIAL) RELIEF
With the continuing decline of the dollar, we continue to search for ways to stretch our money, or maybe to generate a little more. We may have someone interested in renting our house for one of the weeks we’re in the states, and of course while we’re in the states Art will be working, even if he is getting paid in U.S. dollars.
Thanks to many years of working two jobs, Art qualifies for a Social Security pension in addition to his Civil Service pension from the Post Office. With his 62nd birthday approaching this summer, I decided to call the Social Security office in Louisville to ask a few questions.
Although there is a lot of information on the SOCIAL SECURITY WEBSITE, I had a suspicion that Art’s postal pension might complicate things and require a visit to the local office rather than just being able to file for benefits online. I also wasn’t clear whether the earliest he could apply was 90 days before his birthday, or 90 days before the first day of the month of his birthday.
I’m happy to report that the woman who answered the phone was both friendly AND helpful! I guess my expectations are pretty low, especially after living in Italy for almost five years. Anyway, the woman confirmed my suspicions about filing online, but told me that instead of coming into the local office, Art could file for his social security benefits via a phone interview! I was even able to set up an appointment for the day and time when the Social Security office will call Art to take his information. Because the appointment is scheduled for nine in the morning I’m hopeful the phone call will come on time.
Should there be a problem or if follow-up is necessary, we’ll be in Louisville for several weeks, and hopefully once we return to Italy it will only be a matter of weeks until we begin receiving additional funds into our bank account each month. Of course we’ll still have to convert these U.S. dollars into euro, but at least we’ll have more dollars to start with.