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Old 11-02-2015, 08:27 AM   #321
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Originally Posted by gerntz View Post
Again, you resort to calling the previous rules as giving "bonuses" versus recognizing that those using the rule were/are still getting less return for their "investments" in SS than low income contributors. Sorry, but using the word "bonus" comes across to me as bias intended to degrade/shame those using the lawful rule (which I am) to their legal advantage.

And why aren't government regulators/administrators/lawyers with all their time & resources thoroughly vetting the laws being put forth to avoid supposedly, by you, unintended consequences that can be undone by a mere little ole financial advisor? I mean, it seems a silly proposition to me.
I am sure that Ian will give his meaning.... but for me, a 'bonus' (in this sense) is something that someone gets that most do not... or you could even interpret it as getting something that was not intended...

SS is not an investment.... never has, never will be....
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:34 AM   #322
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So if a future Congress ever changes the benefits/filing rules again they couldn't say they were doing so because the previous rules had unintended consequences? I mean, every rule/law is always fully thought out till its end?
They can do whatever they want, but I would call that changing a law or backing it out, not fixing an unintended consequence.

I'm trying to think of an example. The best one I come up with is the ACA subsidy cliff. The intent of the law is to provide affordable health insurance by giving subsidies to lower income people. In doing so, they created a situation where $1 of extra income can result in $100s in lost subsidies. Since normally tax cutoffs like tax deduction limits for medical expenses or IRA limits are phased such that you don't have cliffs like this, I would call this an unintended consequence. (It's just an example, so if you want to argue that maybe they really intended for the subsidy cliff to exist, I'm not interested in going there.) If they passed a way to smooth the subsidy so that extra income never costs you more in lost subsidy than you had extra income, that would be a correction to an unintended consequence. The primary goal of the program was to provide a sliding scale subsidy, not to have such a cliff.

Without getting into the whole political discussion, and I'm sorry I couldn't quickly think of a less political example, if they were to rescind the whole program, that's not a "correction", that's backing out or reversing the program.

It's just a terminology thing and not very important. The poster I referenced was hoping for a "correction" in the file and suspend change. Since there seems to be no side consequence arising from the change that needs to be changed to make it really work as designed, there is no "correction" he should hope for, but rather he would have to hope they change their mind and back it out.

Put more simply, if congress passes a law to make A happen, and A happens, but B happens as well, they might try to make a correction to eliminate B so that only the intended A happens, especially if B isn't a good thing. But if they pass a law for A, and only A happens, it's not a "correction" to eliminate A.

I don't know why you seem to be having trouble understanding what I am trying to say, but I'm not going to waste any more time on it. If I'm not explaining it well enough, I don't know how to do it better.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:20 AM   #323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerntz View Post
Again, you resort to calling the previous rules as giving "bonuses" versus recognizing that those using the rule were/are still getting less return for their "investments" in SS than low income contributors. Sorry, but using the word "bonus" comes across to me as bias intended to degrade/shame those using the lawful rule (which I am) to their legal advantage.
Not intending to shame anyone with the use of the word "bonus" which I always thought had a positive connotation. The law is the law and you're entitled to take advantage of it.

My understanding of at least one of the advantageous file and suspend strategies required an age gap that was not too great since the file and suspend spouse would have to be FRA and the spouse filing for spousal benefits would have to be age 62 or greater. As I understand it, this strategy would not work for a couple who had say an 8 year gap in ages. I don't understand why the policy would establish that type of distinction. Unless the strategy was an unintended consequence of the law changes enacted in 2000.

IMHO, there is an indentifiable societal good in having lower income folks get a higher benefit in relation to their contributions than higher income folks and I know that the SS law is designed to do that. I just don't see the societal benefit in the file and suspend strategies - at least no benefit that couldn't be more effectively implemented by other means.
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Old 11-02-2015, 11:26 AM   #324
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Here is another stab at explaining what just happened "
The Death of File & Suspend and Restricted Application"


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Old 11-03-2015, 07:25 AM   #325
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Pretty much all you need to know about why file&suspend was eliminated was seeing all the clickbait ads on web pages that said "Here's a trick for a couple to get an extra $15,000 per year."
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Old 11-15-2015, 04:33 AM   #326
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The way I see it, they have (rightly so) streamlined the filing process so we are each allowed to file ONCE. Folks have been manipulating the system in order to file TWICE -- first to file and suspend or file restricted application for the spousal benefit, then later file all over again to get their increased benefit at a later age.
So now we will be compelled to CHOOSE when it is we really truly mean it to begin SS benefits and file ONCE and for all. Makes good sense to me from an administrative standpoint, so SSA doesn't have to handle filers twice. Make the call for yourself -- file early and begin spousal benefits, or wait to file later for larger benefits.
i think it gave way to much in additional perks to folks just because they were married .

as much as i liked having those options they were a bit unfair .

if a spouse has no work record why should they be treated different than a single ? being a stay at home mom today is a personal choice .

what should happen is if a spouse has no work record and wants to eventually collect the system should have the working spouse have 2 ss contributions taken out
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Old 11-15-2015, 07:48 AM   #327
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i think it gave way to much in additional perks to folks just because they were married .

as much as i liked having those options they were a bit unfair .

if a spouse has no work record why should they be treated different than a single ? being a stay at home mom today is a personal choice .

what should happen is if a spouse has no work record and wants to eventually collect the system should have the working spouse have 2 ss contributions taken out
I agree about the additional perks. But 2 SS taken out because of a stay-at-home mom or dad

Social Security was designed to help people who might be in dire straits in their old age. Stay-at-home people are at higher risk of living their last days in poverty.

Can you imagine what it would do to take out 6.2*2% or 12.4*2% out of a working person's salary because they have a spouse looking after a child? Many people couldn't manage today.
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Old 11-16-2015, 04:10 AM   #328
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well why should a married person get a stay at home benefit when a single person does not ? half of all women have children out of marriage today .

if staying at home is what you do without ever paying in to get a benefit then it should not entitle you to collect anymore then not paying any premium with any type of insurance allows .
if a married couple then one party should contribute in to the system for the other . isn't that how all our insurance works ?

everyone who wans to get money out needs to put money in .

reminds me of the saying when we were teenagers and got our first cars .

gas-grass or ass - no one rides for free . ha ha ha
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Old 11-16-2015, 05:44 AM   #329
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This discussion will roll down hill fast.

Life isn't fair. Taxes aren't fair. Marriage penalty isn't fair. Being a latch key kid isn't fair.

Heard it all ..

Key point is a loophole that was being abused is closing.

Be happy because it will reduce the chance of SS benefit becoming insolvent !!!

meathead's turn !!!
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Old 11-16-2015, 08:35 AM   #330
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Thanks to those who stayed on topic for an interesting and helpful discussion.
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