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Dear Rusty: If I file at age 63 what percentage does my wife receive if I die? Does this percentage change if I wait to file closer to my full retirement age? And what does my wife receive if I die before I file for my benefits? Signed: Planning Ahead

Will you own an electric car? If you live long enough and that’s all that is being made, you probably will. Many of us will hold out for as long as possible.

Florida used to have mediocre schools. When Jeb Bush was elected as the “Education Governor” in 1999, Florida’s fourth-grade reading scores were 205 — seven points below the national average. Fourth-grade math scores were 216 — six points below the national average.

The internet provides a wealth of information, entertainment and education at our fingertips. It allows us to connect with people in an instant, and to access knowledge in moments. Despite all of the benefits the internet provides, it can also be a dangerous place for our children.

David Dunn-Rankin’s column from the Sept. 15 edition of the Times was not published in its entirety. Below is the complete version.

Dear Rusty: You wrote an article about a man who was collecting spouse benefits but was applying for his own benefit at age 70, under an old law. What are the circumstances surrounding that gentleman’s ability to collect spousal benefits? Why was he eligible? And was he working clear up into…

We have some very serious problems in our country. Problems that must be addressed.

We tend to base our lives on track record, where we’ve been, what we’ve done and what’s been done to us. So we cycle through the present with a shadow of the past riding pillion.

Dear Rusty: My husband died several years ago in 2019. It is my understanding that I should be receiving some portion of his Social Security payments. However, when I called to notify Social Security that he passed, they told me not to touch his last check because it would be taken back. I w…

Dear Rusty: My husband is 63 and I will be 65 in a few months. He’s retired from the Air Force, so we currently have Tricare Select. As I understand it, I only need to sign up for Medicare Part B, which I think I can do now. Can I do this online, or do I need to go somewhere to enroll? And h…

What or who is important to you? The recent devastating flood in eastern Kentucky reminds us all that life can be swept away in a moment. Hundreds of families lost everything.

Reader S. writes, “Your column on Abortion - Maaaan, you will get bombarded from all sides on this issue. Abortion is nothing less than “murder.” What difference does it make ending an unborn life after 2, 3, 5, 12, 15, 25, weeks. You are still killing the unborn who have no way to fight for…

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Hope is the confident expectation of good, and when it’s tardy - late to a game we set in motion … it makes the heart sick.

One more letter from a reader who thinks my bullish columns on the future of America are dead wrong.

This is the anniversary of my 15th year writing a local monthly newspaper column. I often focus on the problem or the problems we have as a society because this is how I’m wired. I like to fix things and watch them run right if it is a machine or more efficiently.

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On Aug. 20, our house became animal-free for the first time in over 30 years. When Mark and I began dating in 1989, I bought him a Chow for the simple reason he always wanted one. At the time, I had a bossy boy dachshund named Moses who had zero qualms about lording over Duke with an iron paw.

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Life and the world are always changing. What you can do today is not guaranteed for tomorrow. Do what you enjoy while you can.

Reader J. wanted to let me know that I owe everyone a great big apology. When I wrote my two columns about how much better life is today than it was 40 or 50 years ago and how much better life will likely be in the future, it did not sit well with J.

Dear Rusty: I have been getting Social Security since age 66. My wife turned 62 in June. We are thinking of taking her spouse benefits on my record since it would be higher than hers (we checked online). We began filling out the application but do not see a way to let them know we want her t…

Like a weed, complacency sprouts around the human heart and chokes off the challenge to grow, to seek better, to become better. Instead, it smugly suggests that we’ve arrived.

People who have lost their houses and cars and everything they’ve worked for all their lives may feel like giving up. Some do. After 30 or 50 years, they don’t feel like they have it within them to rebuild and try again. Some have no choice but to live the life they’ve been handed. Financial…

Dade’s Youth, the teen group sponsored by Dade Battlefield Society, reminds local businesses or groups that it’s time to sign up again, for this year’s haunted event at Dade Battlefield Historic State Park.

I’ve written over 300 columns in the past three years. Some subjects were apple pie and the American Flag. Others were more controversial. Yet, nothing I’ve written in the past three years created as much reader feedback as the two columns I wrote about why this is a great time to be alive i…

I am a resident of Sumter County and have lived here since the early 1950’s. I was born in Marion County, Florida in 1942 but have spent most of my life in Sumter County. I married at an early age (18 years old) and have a beautiful wife, a son and a recently deceased daughter that is buried…

Dear Rusty: I am 70 years old and just started receiving my Social Security benefits about 4 months ago and I get close to $3700 per month. My wife is 65 years old and worked sporadically over the years so is entitled to her own benefits. If we applied under her account, she would get around…

Dear Rusty: II am a 62 year old Canadian holding a green card and I have lived in the US for nearly twenty-three years. For 19 years prior I contributed to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) which is the equivalent of US Social Security. I am contemplating retirement in the US and have been told …

When I listen to the radical right of the Republican Party and the extreme left of the Democratic party, there is no middle ground on abortion. But even though the two extremes get all our attention, neither of them represents the majority of Americans. I thought I would include some informa…

Sometimes, when I listen to politicians tell us how bad it is in America, I just want to scream. Donald Trump said the American Dream was dead and to vote for him because we could make America great again. Nonsense.

Allen, Kentucky is a place that holds fond memories for me. When I was only 16, Allen Baptist Church invited me to speak for a weekend youth event. I had the opportunity to meet and work with over 100 people from the Allen community.

Ask Rusty – How Do We Apply for My Wife’s Spousal Benefit?

We're all familiar with Thomas Fuller's phrase, 'It's always darkest before the dawn.' Meaning that hope is only a horizon away, that we're to hold on to God's promise that we aren't forsaken.

I sometimes write columns about the amazing new technologies and discoveries that are happening right now. There’s never been a better time to be alive than right now and right here in America.

In whatever form it appears in our lives, a vice serves as a distraction and is often harmful. It’s an enticing way to buffer reality, numb the feels, and sweep everything under the proverbial carpet so we don’t have to deal.

Allen, Kentucky is a place that holds fond memories for me. When I was only 16, Allen Baptist Church invited me to speak for a weekend youth event. I had the opportunity to meet and work with over 100 people from the Allen community.

We have readers in four counties, Polk, Highlands, Lake and Sumter. No matter which county we are in, we get feedback from readers that sounds something like this:

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office began utilizing volunteers circa 1998. Currently, a number of volunteers work at the Villages Annex located on 466. The volunteers at the annex assist by performing several duties including manning the front desk, answering incoming calls and helping to man…

Dear Rusty: I am a 77-year-old married male. I am retired and started drawing Social Security at age 66, and my monthly amount is a little over $3,000. My present wife is 52 and employed, and we have been married for 22 years. I also have an ex-wife who is 85, not married, and drawing Social…

Stagnant living is stationary, keeping us in the same place, paralyzed in a comfortable but unwanted present.

Do you want to learn more about God’s Word? Do you feel called to ministry? Florida Bible Institute is tailor made for you, whether you are preparing for ministerial credentials or studying for personal enrichment.

Do you recall A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh glooms-day character Eeyore? Nothing went right for this adorable donkey because he focused on everything wrong. In some fashion, we’ve all experienced sadness that may’ve developed into full-blown depression. Nothing felt right, looked right, or m…

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Working While Collecting Early Benefits

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