On January 20, 2017, we will have a new president. As I noted last week, it is difficult to say what that is going to mean in practical terms. But, before Inauguration Day, it makes sense to do a few things. It may prove important to have done so before the law changes.
Apply Now To Discharge Your Student Loans
One item on your checklist should be to apply for discharge of your student loans if Social Security has declared you disabled. Michael Hiltzik in the Los Angeles Times has an excellent article about this. It bears reading. Hiltzik wisely notes that the federal government is about to be in the exclusive control of the Republican Party. As a rule, Republicans are not overly concerned with the fate of the poor, sick, and disabled.
Get That Disability Application Done
You might also want to get your disability application filed now if you are still thinking about doing it. As a general rule, any changes to the disability programs apply to all cases that are currently on file. But, if Trump were to push through some very significant changes to Social Security disability, you may wish you were already in the system. It is not hard to imagine, for example, Trump pushing for changes in who is eligible for benefits.
Talk To A Financial Expert About Retirement Planning
If you are near retirement age, you need to think about if it makes sense to put in for your Social Security retirement benefits now,
rather than wait. I always advocate waiting as long as possible to take your retirement benefits. But, as with disability, if Trump engineers some major changes in the program, you might have wished you were already collecting. I am not qualified to give financial advice. You should speak to the person who does your finances. But do give it some thought.
Or, You Could Do Nothing
I believe that any changes in Social Security disability and/or retirement are not likely to be revolutionary. You can probably get by without making any major decisions. But, it does make sense to at least contemplate what might be coming under the new administration.