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Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 09:37 AM   #1
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Americans need to work longer...

... says Greenspan.

http://www.reuters.com/financeNewsAr...toryID=6090808

Personally, I don't even factor SS into my retirement planning... I know many people here do, but if SS went away (or the full benefit age was raise to 72), how would this affect your ER goals?
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 09:39 AM   #2
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

Like marshac, I assume I am getting nothing but the shaft from SS. It amazes me to think that so many others believe otherwise.
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 09:49 AM   #3
 
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

Actually most economists very familar with the coming crunch, believe that SS will endure. Pretty much the same for those over 50 today. It probably will have modifications in the future for those under 40. *Those that are 40-50 years old today could go either way.

The real problem is medicare as far as Social Services. This is a much bigger nut to crack. The U.S. needs to attack this problem. Clinton tried it in 1994, but the Insurance companies masterfly put together a campaign to get us where we at today. (i.e. Record profits for them)
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 10:35 AM   #4
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

I suspect that we will not see a solution to the Medicare problem unless we find a solution to the healthcare problem.
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 10:37 AM   #5
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

Quote:
Like marshac, I assume I am getting nothing but the shaft from SS. *It amazes me to think that so many others believe otherwise.
I used to think so too, but then it dawned on me that future retirees will probably be even more dependent on social security than current retirees (many of whom have pensions).

So, it's a safe bet that you'll get a nice chunk of social security when you're eligible. Which means it's also a safe bet that they'll have to fix the underfunding problem. Which probably means that your taxes will go up and your eligibility age will go up.
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 10:44 AM   #6
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

Quote:
I suspect that we will not see a solution to the Medicare problem unless we find a solution to the healthcare problem.
The problem is that we need to make healthcare cheaper. Cheaper procedures (such as outpatient surgery), cheaper drugs, cheaper treatments.

Everyone is suffering from the healthcare costs crunch, not just the US but also Canada, Europe and Japan, especially as populations age.

Rough prediction is that we'll see a huge emphasis on reducing the costs of health care.


Back to SS: it's going to be means tested, so most of us won't see a penny. I'm not even counting it in my retirement plans, otherwise I'd be retiring a few years earlier.
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 10:51 AM   #7
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

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Personally, I don't even factor SS into my retirement planning... I know many people here do, but if SS went away (or the full benefit age was raise to 72), how would this affect your ER goals?
If the pols decide to make up any shortfall by raising taxes then it could indirectly affect your ER by leaving you with less in your pocket. I too ignore SS from the benefit side. The contribution side is what could really cause problems.

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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 10:52 AM   #8
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

Quote:
I used to think so too, but then it dawned on me that future retirees will probably be even more dependent on social security than current retirees (many of whom have pensions).

So, it's a safe bet that you'll get a nice chunk of social security when you're eligible. * Which means it's also a safe bet that they'll have to fix the underfunding problem. * *Which probably means that your taxes will go up and your eligibility age will go up.
Like I said, we will be getting the shaft. Instead of what I am currently supposed to be entitled to for the taxes I currently pay, I will be offered benefits of vastly reduced value for a significant increase in taxes. Sounds like a great deal! (Not)
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 11:07 AM   #9
 
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

Quote:

Like I said, we will be getting the shaft. *Instead of what I am currently supposed to be entitled to for the taxes I currently pay, I will be offered benefits of vastly reduced value for a significant increase in taxes. *Sounds like a great deal! (Not)

Look at what is happening today. We borrowed the money for the Iraq War and also had a Tax Cut with the majority of it going to the very top of the income brackets.

Who do you think is going to have to pay that debt off? If we don't start paying as we go, the government will print money and your nest egg will shrink because of inflation. So this way, elected officials can keep the promise of "We will not raise taxes" and "We'll even give you a Tax Cut". These are great deals also, right!

As long as the American people keep believing in the Easter Bunny, there will be a politician there with a magic act.
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 11:19 AM   #10
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

Quote:


Look at what is happening today. We borrowed the money for the Iraq War and also had a Tax Cut with the majority of it going to the very top of the income brackets.

Who do you think is going to have to pay that debt off? If we don't start paying as we go, the government will print money and your nest egg will shrink because of inflation. So this way, elected officials can keep the promise of "We will not raise taxes" and "We'll even give you a Tax Cut". These are great deals also, right!

As long as the American people keep believing in the Easter Bunny, there will be a politician there with a magic act.
Agreed, but what can one do about it? Politicians are like elephants. My economics professor always said that elephants are what they are: they tear up the jungle, uproot trees, etc. That doesn't make them bad, just elephants. I guess I'd rather see poaching of politicians rather than elephants, though.
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 11:25 AM   #11
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

I know so many people my age (30s, even 40s) who still believe that Social Security will be there for them and will provide them with a comfortable existence.
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Maybe Americans need to die earlier!
Old 08-27-2004, 11:38 AM   #12
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Maybe Americans need to die earlier!

Many of today's spending programs, tax deductions, & govt investments have been indexed to inflation. It may not be very accurate and it's certainly subject to manipulation but it's better than nothing.

Imagine if Social Security benefits were indexed to the American lifespan. You wouldn't start drawing benefits until you reached an age with the same mortality that age 65 meant in 1935. For me (approaching age 44 today) that might mean I wouldn't start drawing SS until I was 72. Of course there'd be regional differences, many volunteers would be asked to "die early" to lower their demographic's numbers, and I'm sure enterprising criminals would try to manipulate the system. But it'd sure encourage workers to start saving their own money and to stop counting on SS to save them!

I can't remember-- are Congressional salaries subject to SS/Medicare tax?
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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!
Old 08-27-2004, 11:54 AM   #13
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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!

Quote:
. . .
I can't remember-- are Congressional salaries subject to SS/Medicare tax?
The answer I have heard to this question is, "no". They have their own (well-funded) system that allows them to opt out of social security entirely.
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. :)


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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!
Old 08-27-2004, 12:00 PM   #14
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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!

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The answer I have heard to this question is, "no". *They have their own (well-funded) system that allows them to opt out of social security entirely.
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. * :)
That screed about politicians and SS usually comes in the form of an email along with other political ranting usually from the far right side. It is as usual wrong. Have a look at this for the debunking.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/pensions.asp
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 12:05 PM   #15
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

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Like marshac, I assume I am getting nothing but the shaft from SS. *It amazes me to think that so many others believe otherwise.
It's hard for me to imagine a scenario where social security will go away entirely.

- According to government statistics nearly half of all Americans over the age of 65 would be below the poverty level without social security benefits.

- Information I've read about savings rates of most of the work force today indicates that these people are not any better prepared to support themselves in retirement than their parents and grandparents.

- Politicians seem too gutless to even address the problem today although solutions that involve relatively minor changes in benefits and taxes are available.

So for social security to be dropped, we are going to have to suddenly elect some new breed of politician that is willing to pass legislation that will put millions of retirees (one of the most likely groups to go vote) below the poverty level.

It may happen, but I'm guessing it is far more likely that they will reduce benefits and raise taxes.
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 12:08 PM   #16
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

This is probably an unpopular view for improving SS, but I'd like to see the SS retirement age tied to life expectancy. We are living considerably longer than folks did when SS was instituted.

On a similar topic in this thread, here is an interesting article about escalating medical costs. In part these costs are going up because the care is getting better. Interesting.

http://cbs.marketwatch.com/news/stor...den=&minisite=

Cheers,

Chris
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 12:10 PM   #17
 
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

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- Politicians seem too gutless to even address the problem today although solutions that involve relatively minor changes in benefits and taxes are available.
The ones with guts would never get elected, so you cannot blame the politicans. It's the people that vote them into office.
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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!
Old 08-27-2004, 12:15 PM   #18
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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!

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That screed about politicians and SS usually comes in the form of an email along with other political ranting usually from the far right side. *It is as usual wrong. *Have a look at this for the debunking.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/pensions.asp
Thanks for the correction and the link. Although far from the right politically, I did receive one of these messages several years ago. As I read the debunking page you linked to, I recognized the note. :)
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Re: Americans need to work longer...
Old 08-27-2004, 12:30 PM   #19
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Re: Americans need to work longer...

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The ones with guts would never get elected, so you cannot blame the politicans. It's the people that vote them into office.
Hi cut-throat,

That's a good point. I certainly agree with you that voters are responsible for this mess, too.

I do believe there are reasons why politicians share extra responsibility for this problem. I don't really expect every voter in this country to be able go through national spending and budget numbers, analyze them, and draw the appropriate conclusions about taxing and spending of social security benefits. It might be nice if they were capable and willing to do that, but it's not realistic to believe that it ever will. Part of the responsibility of our elected representatives is to elevate issues and educate their constituents on critical aspects of government that need to be improved. When elected officials almost universally ignore social security funding, it leads a large number of voters to believe that the problem must not be that bad. To me, this is just as irrisponsible as when a politician exagerates or makes up an issue in order to get votes.
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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!
Old 08-27-2004, 12:51 PM   #20
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Re: Maybe Americans need to die earlier!

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Thanks for the correction and the link. * Although far from the right politically, I did receive one of these messages several years ago. *As I read the debunking page you linked to, I recognized the note. :)
Not my intention to suggest that you were "far right politically" but that most of these email screeds tend to be slanted that way. In the case of those SS ones they were often coupled with some mention of the Clintons and blaming them for that situation. I have yet to see them firing around similar ones lambasting Bush for the same imagined situation.

Snopes is a pretty good source for debunking (or verifying sometimes) these generally fantastical claims.
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