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View Poll Results: Can you retire without social security?
I count on some social security in my household, or I would not be able to retire as planned. 77 38.12%
I have sufficient assets/income, and could/can retire without any social security in our/my budget. 125 61.88%
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:05 AM   #141
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"Absolutely. Me, too. Because I have already retired, and I do not want my benefits to be cut. "
So, screw all the people who payed in for almost 30 years, like me? Maybe we can convince half of working Americans not to have kids and stay single, and then euthanize them at age 66 so we don't have to pay them, and we can continue to fund SS that way.............

I for one WOULD take a reduction in my SS payments if it meant the system was solvent for the next 100 years or whatever..........
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:06 AM   #142
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In funding their pensions, do private companies normally buy their own bonds to finance 100% of their ABO/PBO?
No, but if they did they would get complementary government housing!
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:13 AM   #143
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I for one WOULD take a reduction in my SS payments if it meant the system was solvent for the next 100 years or whatever..........
That's admirable, and I would agree to reduce your payments.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:20 AM   #144
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That's admirable, and I would agree to reduce your payments.
I believe that he meant he'd take a cut in his benefits as part of a package that reduces everybody's benefits (and maybe raises taxes as well?). I would, too.

Back to the poll in the OP, I worked until I had enough cushion so I wouldn't be dependent on SS for the basic necessities of life. I'm willing to reduce my SS benefit somewhat to provide a better deal for my kids.

Unlike some people who post here, to me the "better deal" I envision is still in the context of a paygo system.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:27 AM   #145
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I believe that he meant he'd take a cut in his benefits as part of a package that reduces everybody's benefits (and maybe raises taxes as well?). I would, too.

Back to the poll in the OP, I worked until I had enough cushion so I wouldn't be dependent on SS for the basic necessities of life. I'm willing to reduce my SS benefit somewhat to provide a better deal for my kids.

Unlike some people who post here, to me the "better deal" I envision is still in the context of a paygo system.
It seems there are a lot of us who have paid into the system for quite a few years (19 years for me) but are still far away from SS (age 40) that would be willing to sacrifice a great deal of our future benefits (I would go for up to a 25% cut) if current recipients and those nearing retirement would also take some (less drastic sacrifice). But it looks like the prevailing attitude is "I'm old! where is my money! I paid into this and I expect to get it back...screw the next generation"
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:31 AM   #146
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"I'm old! where is my money! I paid into this and I expect to get it back...screw the next generation"
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:35 AM   #147
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It seems there are a lot of us who have paid into the system for quite a few years (19 years for me) but are still far away from SS (age 40) that would be willing to sacrifice a great deal of our future benefits (I would go for up to a 25% cut) if current recipients and those nearing retirement would also take some (less drastic sacrifice). But it looks like the prevailing attitude is "I'm old! where is my money! I paid into this and I expect to get it back...screw the next generation"

You got me thinking... how long have I paid into the system

Well, it is 39 years!!! And I am only 53... sure, the first 8 to 10 years are very small amounts... but I have been paying in since I was 14...

I will have to look at my stmt and see how much I have paid into the system...
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:40 AM   #148
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But it looks like the prevailing attitude is "I'm old! where is my money! I paid into this and I expect to get it back...let the next generation pay for theirs"
Fixed it for you.
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:49 AM   #149
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Fixed it for you.
You mean let them pay for theirs and ours
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Old 01-14-2011, 11:58 AM   #150
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"
But it looks like the prevailing attitude is "I'm old! where is my money! I paid into this and I expect to get it back...let the next generation pay for theirs"
"
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Fixed it for you.
Well, you *could* put forth the arguement that the current retired generation is the one who elected the government that squandered away the money they paid in and so should bear the brunt of the remedy. I was trying to be a bit more understanding and suggest that the next generation take a much bigger cut as long as the current retired generation who screwed up the system to begin with take some of the responsibility, even if it is a couple % reduction. If that means you only take 2 cruises this year instead of 3, then such is life.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #151
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But, the people who "qualified .. under the current requirements" wrote tax rates and benefit formulas. If the taxes are inadequate to fund the benefits, I'm not sure if "we" should feel bound by them.

We already have "self-funded/self-directed buy up options to complement SS minimums". Anybody can choose to save more, we even give tax incentives to people who save with IRAs, 401Ks, etc. What more do you mean?
"We" all live under a system of representative government. If you don't like what happened in the past, elect leaders who promise what you want to hear can deliver the changes you feel are necessary in the future; you can't rewrite history to suit the present, and selectively decide which programs you want to be "bound by". You get the same voice in the process as anyone else.
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:36 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by samclem
In funding their pensions, do private companies normally buy their own bonds to finance 100% of their ABO/PBO?
No, but if they did they would get complementary government housing!
Yeah, that's one of the problems with saying SS should be run like a private pension system. Private corporations pile up govt bonds and make other investments that are intended to pay for the benefits they've promised retirees. It doesn't work when the US government does this--when they buy corporate stocks and bonds, that makes the US government part owners of private companies, which isn't good. When they "invest" the money in government bonds, that just means they spent the money and have an IOU, from and to themselves for that amount. There's no money in a "lockbox", all the IOUs need to be paid back by taxpayers when due, or rolled over into even more debt. That starts in a couple of years, it's not the oft-cited 2040 date when SS "runs out of money." SS starts to be a big political headache as soon as outflows exceed inflows. It already happened briefly last year (IIRC).
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Old 01-14-2011, 12:40 PM   #153
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"We" all live under a system of representative government. If you don't like what happened in the past, elect leaders who promise what you want to hear can deliver the changes you feel are necessary in the future; you can't rewrite history to suit the present, and selectively decide which programs you want to be "bound by". You get the same voice in the process as anyone else.
You are correct that we can't rewrite history. The taxes and benefits paid in the past are all water over the dam. But, with regard to SS, we (e.g. voters/congress) can change the benefit formula for current and future retirees.

I was actually more interested in the other part of your post. What's the SS1 and SS2 you're talking about?
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:06 PM   #154
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You are correct that we can't rewrite history. The taxes and benefits paid in the past are all water over the dam. But, with regard to SS, we (e.g. voters/congress) can change the benefit formula for current and future retirees.

I was actually more interested in the other part of your post. What's the SS1 and SS2 you're talking about?
Just thinking at this point ...but here are my initial musings:

SS1 would be our current system. Those already retired and in the system keep collecting based on the benefit formulas they paid into and are (in my mind ) owed.

SS2 would be the new system, whatever it looks like (new and improved with higher premiums, lower payouts, better payouts, lower premiums, a prize in every box- we don't know and can only speculate and argue about what it should look like at this point) People just entering the workforce would be covered under SS2.

Those of us caught in the middle (I'm 53 for example) would collect a pro-rated benefit based on their years of eligibility in either system. (in my case ~35 years of SS1 and ~12 years of SS2)

Seems like a good way to balance past promises with future realities. Similar programs are working with public and private pension plans, union contracts, etc.

YMMV.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:11 PM   #155
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Yeah, that's one of the problems with saying SS should be run like a private pension system. Private corporations pile up govt bonds and make other investments that are intended to pay for the benefits they've promised retirees. It doesn't work when the US government does this--when they buy corporate stocks and bonds, that makes the US government part owners of private companies, which isn't good. When they "invest" the money in government bonds, that just means they spent the money and have an IOU, from and to themselves for that amount. There's no money in a "lockbox", all the IOUs need to be paid back by taxpayers when due, or rolled over into even more debt. That starts in a couple of years, it's not the oft-cited 2040 date when SS "runs out of money." SS starts to be a big political headache as soon as outflows exceed inflows. It already happened briefly last year (IIRC).

I've worked with pension plans for almost 15 years now, I'm well aware of how they run.

There is no reason the US couldn't establish something similar to a sovereign wealth fund
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:29 PM   #156
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Bacon is good! Even though there isn't any bacon in my shrimp po'boy.
Oh those are shrimp...that makes sense. When I first looked at it I thought those were tater tots.

Bowing out now...carry on all...
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:34 PM   #157
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I've worked with pension plans for almost 15 years now, I'm well aware of how they run.

There is no reason the US couldn't establish something similar to a sovereign wealth fund
And as a citizen, I'm "well aware" that there's a perfect reason the US shouldn't do this--because there's zero potential that there won't be political meddling in decisions on which securities to buy (Halliburton? Altria?) and in the management of the companies. The last time "we" bought a company we fired the CEO.
I suppose someone will suggest a blind trust, or neutral investment management. Sure . . .
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:42 PM   #158
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Oh those are shrimp...that makes sense. When I first looked at it I thought those were tater tots.

Bowing out now...carry on all...
Only those "rich" SS recipents can afford to eat shrimp. It'll be tater tots for the rest of us.

Thread is now back on track. Glad I could do my part to help.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:58 PM   #159
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There is no reason the US couldn't establish something similar to a sovereign wealth fund
We had one. Worked great for years. It was called Social Security. Unfortunately, it went the way of Medicare, Medicaid, Freddie Mac, Sally Mae, Cash for Clunkers, Energy Star Appliance Rebates, Student Loans, Free Cheese, Savings and Loans , PBGC, and and a whole myriad of other government-funded/underwritten/subsidized/managed programs.

I don't want a "sovereign wealth fund" here in the US, it would just create the next financial meltdown/bailout/ finger-pointing/hand-wringing/ "no one saw it coming" / "it is all the previous generations' fault" situation; albeit on a potentially unrecoverable scale.
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:18 PM   #160
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I just can't get interested in this issue of the SS system going broke. I don't think it can, provided the Federal Government remains solvent. (Now that might be a problem.) It just seems like an accounting problem of how we rationalize the expense of all those payments to retirees. As we all know, there's no "trust fund" in any real sense. We can continue to try to fund the SS payments from SS tax income, but we don't really need to. We could take the moneys from general revenues or, which these days is the same thing, get it by selling more Treasury bonds. It will be gotten somehow, because too many voters want those SS checks. In my view, the future of the SS system is as secure as the credit of the US government.
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