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Become Amish, Gain Social Security Exemption?
Old 07-20-2011, 10:47 AM   #1
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Become Amish, Gain Social Security Exemption?

It seems the self-employed Amish don't have to pay into social security or medicare, but then do not get the benefits:

The Amish & Social Security

Anyone heard of people "becoming" Amish to get out of these programs?
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:16 AM   #2
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have you ever traveled solely by horse drawn buggy? it should be a pretty hard sell, and even if you do sell it, I'm sure they will get you if you ever leave the farm.

I'm sure it's been done, but they won't be sharing their stories on the internet!
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:19 AM   #3
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I did it by working for the State of Nevada. Never paid in, will never get any benefits. I was also hired prior to SoN employees having to pay into Medicare. Never did though I will be eligible for part B or whatever the one everyone gets is I guess.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:35 AM   #4
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Anyone heard of people "becoming" Amish to get out of these programs?
You can't "become" Amish; you have to be born into the family, and the tradition.

It's too much to give up (as compared to an "English" life) to be worth the bother, for the rest of your life.

Seriously, are you really interested in leading the life they lead (yes, I'm near Lancaster, PA and I'm well aware of the "lifestyle", along with the challanges they face - as compared to how I live)?
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:00 PM   #5
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Becoming a landlord might be easier. All that rental income is considered "unearned income" by the IRS. You don't pay social security on unearned income. On the other hand, you don't get social security for the income you didn't earn.... We landlords just have rentals for the fun of it, not to actually "earn" an income.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:18 PM   #6
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I doubt there are very many early retirees among the Amish. Being Amish sounds like a pretty hard life to me.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:27 PM   #7
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There is also a very strong sense of community and taking care of one another. There is no real need for Social Security in their lifestyle in some ways, because they will take care of those who have become old and infirm.

Keep in mind also that in Amish communities, there is no such thing as "early retirement" if you are still capable of laboring. That's also part of the deal.
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:06 PM   #8
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This is OT to this thread, but perhaps people here who are informed about these religious groups can answer. Amish are related to Mennonites, but recounce modern equipment even in their agricultural and business pursuits. Mennonites I thought are also very simple in their personal lives, but use modern equipment like tractors, trucks, farm implements, and computers. I think both groups follow very conservative dress.

Yesterday on the bus I sat accross froma young women wearing a tee-shirt that said "Mennonite Missionary Outreach". Other than this shirt's message, she dressed like any other attactive young woman-tight Spandex jeans that fit like leggings, and sandals. Also had a moderately stylish, short harcut and some minimal makeup.

Is this typical?

Ha
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
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Is this typical?

Ha
I could write a column (since we have both in our area) but I'll just give you a reference:

Amish and Mennonites
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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I could write a column (since we have both in our area) but I'll just give you a reference:

Amish and Mennonites
Thanks Rescue, I'll read this.

Ha
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:35 PM   #11
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Why join a religious group? That sounds like a lot of unnecessary effort and commitment.

Instead, work for Louisiana State University. They give you a choice of paying into social security or not. I didn't pay into it while I worked there, and consequently my SS benefits will be based only on my work elsewhere and lower than they might otherwise be. Luckily I still have enough years worked.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:43 PM   #12
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Why join a religious group? That sounds like a lot of unnecessary effort and commitment.

Instead, work for Louisiana State University. They give you a choice of paying into social security or not. I didn't pay into it while I worked there, and consequently my SS benefits will be based only on my work elsewhere and lower than they might otherwise be. Luckily I still have enough years worked.
Heck, you don't have to join a religion OR work for a university. Just quit working and you get to opt out of paying SS completely! Based on a recent thread I started showing a good SS calculator for the under 40 crowd, I don't think lacking a work history for SS with adversely impact your ultimate SS benefit anyway.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:45 PM   #13
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It seems this is the magic form:

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f4029.pdf

People lead lifestyles that are in conflict with their religion all the time...
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:16 PM   #14
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There is a Mennonite community south of Salem Oregon. When their children become teens they are encouraged to try the 'English' lifestyle before making the decision to join the church, some become as wild as their non-Mennonite peers. As in all church groups there are levels of committment to the traditional life style but living the traditional lifestyle means net hats and long dresses of specific design for women. Men too have traditional dress. http://www.oregonherald.com/news/sto...n-ky-crash.htm

There is a Mennonite sponsored continuing care community in Albany Oregon that is well regarded.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:46 PM   #15
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You won't need SS.... Work and contribution is a big part of those communities and their way of life. You don't stop working... assuming you are able to work. You just lighten up a bit.

Amish Quilts - Retirement in the Amish Community
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:34 PM   #16
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I doubt there are very many early retirees among the Amish. Being Amish sounds like a pretty hard life to me.
Reminds me of when I was working on my MS, I became friends with an African guy who was becoming a medical doctor so that he could go "home" to w*rk with his people in a free clinic/hospital (which he did and also become director). I naively asked him what the retirement system in his country was like. He said. "Well, an 83 year old guy will be digging in his field and fall dead of a heart attack or stroke. His friends and family will stop w*rk and dig a grave for him. Place him in the grave. Say a few words. And then, they will all head back to the fields to w*rk." He said this with an absolutely straight face.

My guess is that the Amish are not too different. I have a lot of respect for these folks, but no way would I want to live their life style. YMMV.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:54 PM   #17
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Reminds me of when I was working on my MS, I became friends with an African guy who was becoming a medical doctor so that he could go "home" to w*rk with his people in a free clinic/hospital (which he did and also become director). I naively asked him what the retirement system in his country was like. He said. "Well, an 83 year old guy will be digging in his field and fall dead of a heart attack or stroke. His friends and family will stop w*rk and dig a grave for him. Place him in the grave. Say a few words. And then, they will all head back to the fields to w*rk." He said this with an absolutely straight face.

My guess is that the Amish are not too different. I have a lot of respect for these folks, but no way would I want to live their life style. YMMV.
I actually wouldn't mind going that way. Presuming I've been FIREd for a good, long time before that happens, and so the work was by choice.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:05 PM   #18
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This is OT to this thread, but perhaps people here who are informed about these religious groups can answer. Amish are related to Mennonites, but recounce modern equipment even in their agricultural and business pursuits. Mennonites I thought are also very simple in their personal lives, but use modern equipment like tractors, trucks, farm implements, and computers. I think both groups follow very conservative dress.

Yesterday on the bus I sat accross froma young women wearing a tee-shirt that said "Mennonite Missionary Outreach". Other than this shirt's message, she dressed like any other attactive young woman-tight Spandex jeans that fit like leggings, and sandals. Also had a moderately stylish, short harcut and some minimal makeup.

Is this typical?

Ha
I lived in Manitoba for many years. There are many Mennonites and Hutterites in Manitoba.

Hutterites are more conservative, wear traditional dress (scarves and long skirts for the ladies and fedoras and conservative pants & jackets for the men) and live in colonies, eschewing social security and income taxes but paying for their own services. Many Hutterites speak Low German. They farm using modern technology and are very industrious. They get involved in community projects (e.g. flood protection) and the community support is amazing, but if someone wants to leave the colony he or she is often ostracized.

Mennonites are more diverse. The more conservative Mennonites wear traditional dress, but they do not live in colonies and get fully involved in community life. There are Mennonite families who go back and forth between Canada and Mexico or Paraguay, speaking Low German all the while. Generational change takes place and there are many families where the parents are conservative but the younger generation wear whatever is in fashion. Many Mennonites are prominent in the community, in politics (see Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety) http://pm.gc.ca/eng/bio.asp?id=75 or the professions, and many are involved in mission work or charity. For example, when I moved, I donated some furniture to the Mennonite Central Committee. If you go to a Mennonite wedding, there will be no alcohol or dancing.....but traditionally, Mennonites love music and singing and are often involved in choirs. There are a number of well known classical musicians who are Mennonites, e.g. Ben Heppner, tenor
Heppner, Ben - The Canadian Encyclopedia.

If you want to know more about Mennonite culture, consider reading two books by Miriam Toews:

A Complicated Kindness
Irma Voth

Hope this helps!
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:03 PM   #19
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:16 PM   #20
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You can't "become" Amish; you have to be born into the family, and the tradition.

It's too much to give up (as compared to an "English" life) to be worth the bother, for the rest of your life.

Seriously, are you really interested in leading the life they lead (yes, I'm near Lancaster, PA and I'm well aware of the "lifestyle", along with the challanges they face - as compared to how I live)?
Actually this is not true. We went to Lancaster PA a few years back and did the buggy ride thing and asked the driver all sorts of questions. He said you could join from the outside if you so desired.

But I not sure that would work too well for me. I'm Asian and I think I'd have a hard time blending in.
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