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Tom Margenau explains why January is often the best month to file for Social Security in the latest edition of his column, “Social Security And You:”

I write a column similar to this one every January. But I don’t mind plagiarizing myself because it contains a very important message for people planning to retire in 2012.

January is a critical month for the hundreds of thousands of potential Social Security beneficiaries who are reaching their so-called full retirement age in 2012. The important message: All of them should at least consider the possibility of filing for their benefits this month, even though they may not be reaching their retirement age until later in the year.

The reason for this early-filing timeframe has to do with some quirky and complicated features of Social Security’s earnings penalty provisions. Those provisions generally keep seniors who are still working off of Social Security’s rolls until they reach that magic “full retirement age.” For most people reading this column, your full retirement age is probably 66. (Check out SocialSecurity.gov for a chart listing the various full retirement ages.)

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Participants hold placards as they mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Washington D.C. on January 17, 2022

Washington (AFP) - Members of Martin Luther King Jr's family joined marchers Monday in Washington urging Congress to pass voting rights reform as the United States marked the holiday commemorating the slain civil rights leader.

King's son Martin Luther King III spoke at the march, warning that many states "have passed laws that make it harder to vote" more than half a century after the activism of his father.

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