Response to Tara Siegel Bernard’s article

Letter written in response to Tara Siegel Bernard’s article Collect Now, or Later? Timing Your Social Security Benefits, July 10, 2009, and her response to it (which came less than an hour after I wrote to her). Republished with her permission. I’m sharing this because it shows that writing letters MATTERS!

Don’t Forget Same-Sex Couples!

Dear Ms. Bernard,

Thanks for your column about when to collect on Social Security benefits. I’ve been wondering about this question myself. I do have one important suggestion though: your article made it sound as though there are only two groups of people; married and single. In fact, there are others, including married couples whose marriage is ignored by the federal government, and those who are not allowed to get married at all. Perhaps you could write a column on the potentially devastating economic effect that lack of federal recognition can have on same-sex couples. What can it mean in real dollars over time to be “federally single”? The reason I am suggesting this is because I believe that many fair-minded people simply have no idea of the real ways in which we are disadvantaged. Perhaps you will help to educate?

Robyn Ochs

MS. BERNARD’S RESPONSE:

You bring up an excellent point. This is an issue I’m passionate about, and I plan on writing more articles for those who are unable for marry. I wrote this at the end of last year: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/01/business/yourmoney/01couples.html.
But I plan on doing more in the months ahead. Thanks for reading – and enjoy the weekend.

Tara

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