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Old 06-04-2012, 03:26 PM   #21
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True. But remember the birth rate is a big deal, too. The WWII generation averaged 3 children per couple. The Boomers averaged 2. If nothing else had happened, the changing birth rate alone would lead to a 50% increase in the tax rate or a 33% decrease in benefits.
True. But this graph (which we've all seen) includes change in birth rate and changes in longevity along with other influences. As you note, birth rate alone would have gradually cut number of workers per SS retiree by 33%. In fact the number of workers per SS retiree has dropped by well over 90% since 1945 (your WWII generation reference), and over 80% since 1950! Unless there's another huge factor I'm missing, it would seem the change in longevity without a commensurate change in FRA is the bigger factor. And no, I am certainly not suggesting they should move in lockstep, simply identifying what the big issue is, no easy answers to be sure...
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Old 06-04-2012, 06:41 PM   #22
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We all need to keep in mind that all those youngster will one day be 50, 60 and even 70 year olds. Growing older is not a choice for most of us (Logan's Run was science FICTION!).
A rational society will acknowledge the needs of all age groups keeping in mind that mosty of us will be members of each group as time goes by.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:41 PM   #23
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The comments also made interesting (if somewhat predictable reading). He is only one of many who have pointed out the fiscal necessity of either making people wait for state backed retirement and other payments or reducing the real value of those payments - at the moment the countries which are doing anything about the issue at all are generally doing a (very) little of both.

The message - unles you want to keep working until 70 or beyond and are confident that you will still be able to find and perform acceptable work at that age, then saving lots and investing sensibly is the only realistic chance most people will have to retire while they are still young enough to enjoy it.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:29 PM   #24
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True. But this graph (which we've all seen) includes change in birth rate and changes in longevity along with other influences. As you note, birth rate alone would have gradually cut number of workers per SS retiree by 33%. In fact the number of workers per SS retiree has dropped by well over 90% since 1945 (your WWII generation reference), and over 80% since 1950! Unless there's another huge factor I'm missing, it would seem the change in longevity without a commensurate change in FRA is the bigger factor. And no, I am certainly not suggesting they should move in lockstep, simply identifying what the big issue is, no easy answers to be sure...
The WWII generation reference was meant to apply to the time when the WWII generation was retired and they were being supported by their children.

Assume the WWII group was born in 1920-25, and dominated the retiree group when they were 75 in 1995-2000. If the early boomers were born 1946-1951, they will hit 75 in 2021-2026. That's extremely crude, but it's the time frames that I'm trying to compare. They're well to the right of the graph.

The big drops in the early years of SS weren't about demographics, they were about the way the system was rolled out. You had to pay taxes for at least 3 years before you were eligible for benefits. Suppose they start collecting taxes today on everyone 20-62. Three years later the leading edge retires. The ratio of workers to beneficiaries one year after the benefit start is (number of people 20-64)/(number of people exactly 65). The next year the denominator doubles to (number of people 66 or 65). In the early years the ratio is the sequence 45/1, 45/2, 45/3 etc, which gives the shape we see in the graph.

In practice, this effect stretched out longer than you'd think because SS initially covered about half the workers. Each time they added another category of workers, they got another layer of this type of curve.

I don't want to claim that the changing birth rate is the only factor in the changing worker/retiree ratio. Just that it is big enough to be considered as part of the problem.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:25 PM   #25
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Well he looked comfortable in his white shirt and tie being interviewed at a villa. He is just a young pup at 68 himself. Why dont he take his white shirt and tie off and put some jeans, work boots, and tshirt on a go roof a couple houses or pour some concrete driveways. He could surely do it 12 years to age 80 no problem!
My granddad was doing blue collar work into his mid 80s... not exactly sure what he was doing at the time (he had MANY different jobs over his lifetime)... but my mom said that he made his assistant carry his tools up the stairs on the water tower.... will have to talk to her to get some more info on this as she had told me over 35 years ago.... he died when he was 98...
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:28 PM   #26
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True. But remember the birth rate is a big deal, too. The WWII generation averaged 3 children per couple. The Boomers averaged 2. If nothing else had happened, the changing birth rate alone would lead to a 50% increase in the tax rate or a 33% decrease in benefits.
Immigration is taking up the slack from the lower birth rate... so the numbers are not as dire as you say.... not great, mind you, just not as bad...
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #27
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They can push the retirement age to how many years they like as long as they leave me alone - I am retired and done with working. There is more to life than working to survive. I refuse to be viewed as an economic output unit which must constantly be upgraded or prolonged to ensure better economic growth when there are so many greedy corporations and inefficient government still going on their usual ways.
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Old 06-05-2012, 12:56 PM   #28
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Immigration is taking up the slack from the lower birth rate... so the numbers are not as dire as you say.... not great, mind you, just not as bad...
How many immigrants of the type that we mostly get in America does it take to support one middle class professional in his old age? How many of our immigrants even work on the books?

PC won't allow an analysis, but I think uncontrolled immigration will be a net loss as far as the eye can see. Don't forget the cost burden that comes with US style immigration.

Ha
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:10 PM   #29
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Immigration is taking up the slack from the lower birth rate... so the numbers are not as dire as you say.... not great, mind you, just not as bad...
That's correct. There are other offsetting factors too - like the percent of women in SS covered jobs, and their wages.

The SS actuaries have explicit assumptions regarding immigration, legal and illegal http://www.ssa.gov/oact/tr/2012/2012...ssumptions.pdf

If I've got the numbers right, they are assuming a little over 1 million net immigrants (vs. about 4 million live births). I didn't chase the numbers for prior years to see how much changing immigration rates have changed the worker/retiree ratio.

IIRC, they even make an assumption about whether illegal immigrants will eventually be granted SS benefits based on their work histories. Sometime in the last 10 years, one of the changes to the long term outlook was a change in that assumption.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:11 PM   #30
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I plan on working five years after I die.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:57 PM   #31
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I plan on working five years after I die.
As long as you include a change of address so we can send your paycheck (or direct deposit) ...
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:26 PM   #32
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I'm sorry, I just can't help laughing at a staff meeting of 80-year-olds (and I would be the worst) as they each report on their tasks.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:59 PM   #33
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I'm only in my 60's, and have been retired for 12 years. What a bummer it would be to have to go back to work! Talk about hard times...working for a living in your 70's

I have become very spoiled...sleeping in, taking walks, puttering in my garden, spending time with family/friends, serving as a lap for my kitties, making art, taking a nap whenever I feel like it. Did I mention day dreaming?

I need to keep my gratitude list pinned up where I can see it on a daily basis.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:29 AM   #34
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How many immigrants of the type that we mostly get in America does it take to support one middle class professional in his old age? How many of our immigrants even work on the books?

PC won't allow an analysis, but I think uncontrolled immigration will be a net loss as far as the eye can see. Don't forget the cost burden that comes with US style immigration.

Ha
Good question. Immigrants don't help SS a lot if they are unskilled laborers.
This source says about 10% of the native born population do not have HS diplomas, compared to 30% of foreign born. http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/12s0040.pdf
However, foreign born are just as likely to have college degrees.

I won't get into the "net" issue except to say it's clouded by politics.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:36 AM   #35
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I'm sorry, I just can't help laughing at a staff meeting of 80-year-olds (and I would be the worst) as they each report on their tasks.
It probably would go quite quick, since most would have forgotten what they wanted to say (as a 64-year old, I'm qualified to comment - I resemble that remark )...
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:53 AM   #36
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It probably would go quite quick, since most would have forgotten what they wanted to say (as a 64-year old, I'm qualified to comment - I resemble that remark )...
You can always "re-assemble" that remark
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:31 AM   #37
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This idea seems to be going around, some others:
Retirement: Financial security for the long road ahead - Jun. 4, 2012

SS isn't in that bad of shape, just raising the full retirement age to 70 for those 40 or younger would do it, like they did before, it could be prorated. Now medicare....
But don't raise it for those 50 and over who already had the age increased to 67 and made their retirement plans with that in mind. And remove the salary cap. You're done.

From the article you link to:

Quote:
I'm not a policy expert, but I have some ideas.
Raise the full Social Security retirement age to 80 to motivate people to work longer.
In other words: I don't know how the real world works, but I'm full of ideas! I think the idea of increasing the Social Security age to 80 is absurd. It just goes to show what a good PR job those who seek to dismantle Social Security have done. There's no need to use a sledgehammer when a screwdriver is all you need -- unless your intent is to destroy, rather than fix.
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #38
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I think raising SS to 70 for everyone under 40 today is totally unfair to younger workers. If something like this passes I would not be surprised if the young folks put a bounty on our grey heads.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:01 AM   #39
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I think raising SS to 70 for everyone under 40 today is totally unfair to younger workers. If something like this passes I would not be surprised if the young folks put a bounty on our grey heads.
What would you propose? If retirement age isn't raised, younger workers will have to pay more in (there's a Catch 22, retire later or pay more) or SS benefits will have to be reduced in some way. Easy answers seem hard to come by...
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:35 AM   #40
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What I would propose is that we share the pain. Stopping the COLA on SS for a couple years would work. BTW, raising the retirement age to 70 for those workers who are now less than 40 would not result in any savings until they reach SS age which is a long ways off. The figures I have seen indicate SS will be short before that time.
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