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Enjoy the SS checks...
Old 11-05-2007, 09:25 PM   #21
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Enjoy the SS checks...

Hopefully, at some point enough of the baby boomers will no longer be voting so we can straighten out this Social Security mess without the politicians being held over a barrel by AARP and scare tactics.

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Old 11-05-2007, 09:49 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Sisyphus View Post
Hopefully, at some point enough of the baby boomers will no longer be voting so we can straighten out this Social Security mess without the politicians being held over a barrel by AARP and scare tactics.

</soapbox>

Don't blame the baby boomers blame the politicians. They are the ones that are taking the money out of the general fund not the baby boomers.
It's almost our turn so leave us alone. We paid out dues and we deserve our SS.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:22 PM   #23
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A special share of the blame for the problem is definitely reserved for the politicians. But in the end the system is irreparably flawed because the ratio of retirees to workers keeps growing.

IMO, the problem, 73ss454, is that yes, the Boomers paid their dues, but as a group they will pull out of SS far more than they put into it, because the system was designed poorly. When Boomers were young workers, they had to support a much smaller older generation of retired workers who lived for fewer years into retirement. It was a large group of young workers paying for a small group of short-lived retirees. The dues the Boomers paid reflected that.

Now we'll have a situation where a much smaller generation of young workers will have to support a much larger generation of Boomers receiving SS, living longer lives. I guess that's ultimately just a result of the Boomers having fewer children. It's really nobody's personal fault, but it is a problem with the system. And everybody's been ignoring it.

As Gatsby said, the only way out of the mess that I see for myself and my family is to get out of the rat race as soon as possible and to reduce my tax burden as much as possible.

I am not one for generational warfare either. And I understand your thinking that since you paid your dues you feel you have SS coming to you. But I have been "paying my dues" for over 10 years, and I expect to pay my dues for many more years, and there's a very good chance that I won't get anything back for it, or at least not anything anywhere near what you guys are getting back.

Many people my age feel the same way. So if we seem bitter at times, well, maybe you can see why. But whatever ... it's not going to change so I just treat SS as a tax that goes into the same black hole as all other taxes.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:33 PM   #24
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Lusitan, you say that the baby boomers will take out of SS more than they paid in. IMHO this will never happen. I don't think too many people that worked their entire lives ever got out what they put in.

In my case I hope to get more than I paid in. (heh)

If the young people don't think it will be there for them then they should plan accordingly.
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:36 PM   #25
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Huh, many of us Gen X'ers will see benefits from SS earlier than we think. SS checks are probably what is going to keep my MIL out of the poor house - or maybe my house - in her retirement. She hasn't saved a dime, and while she'll get a pension from her job, it won't be enough. So since there are many millions of boomers in her boat, there are millions of X'ers who will be spared financial hardship because of the Social Security checks their parents get. We'll have to take comfort in that.

Since we all agree politicians are gutless wonders, it's obvious the solution will be raise the cap on the tax and increase the age a couple years, and put off the problem until 2090 when we're all dead anyway.
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Old 11-06-2007, 06:34 AM   #26
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If the young people don't think it will be there for them then they should plan accordingly.
While I can't disagree with your statement here from my point of view the pain should be spread among several generations. The boomers, through no fault of theirs, will kill SS. So far an actual attempt at fixing the program was shouted down as "being unfair" because it's not a guaranteed paycheck and some of the younger boomers might have to sacrifice. Well it didn't get fixed and all of the boomers will receive their checks. It should also be noted that no alternative was offered to try to fix the system. What I find irritating is the boomers were responsible for the sexual and drug revolution of the sixties, which to me seem like a time of excess. They were responsible for the "party" of the eighties, which also seem like a period of excess. Now When the youngest of the boomers are asked to give up a little, their response is "NO, I will not give anything up. I've paid my dues and earned my SS." To me it almost seems like the boomers never got past the excesses of their lives and wish to continue it into their retirement that they have not saved for. Like I explain to my son, retirement is not for the poor it is for the rich. Just because someone reaches 62, 65, 70, whatever, does not mean they can retire. If someone did not work hard and save while they were young so they can afford to retire they must continue working or take a reduced lifestyle.

The X'ers and beyond will have to take a big bite of the fecal sandwich and take reduced or no benefits, or pay much higher taxes. It is obvious that nothing will be done to fix the system, other than raising taxes, from the current bunch of loonies in Washington. So as normal the X'ers and beyond will wait quietly, seething, until it is their time, which should start within the next few years. Hopefully then many issues will be fixed.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:08 AM   #27
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Lets retire, we all have an opinion.

I must have missed what you are talking about during the 60's and 80's. Worked and broke my a$$ my whole life and I can't wait to spend my SS $.

As far as giving anything up, I for one don't like when the rules to the game are changed when the game is almost over.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:32 AM   #28
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Lets retire, we all have an opinion.

I must have missed what you are talking about during the 60's and 80's. Worked and broke my a$$ my whole life and I can't wait to spend my SS $.

As far as giving anything up, I for one don't like when the rules to the game are changed when the game is almost over.
Nobody likes the rules to be changed, but I don't see any problem with extending out the age to qualify for SS and Medicare. People are living longer, and while that sounds like extending the finish line when you're in the last mile, it's been done before and will be done again. Remember, any change in the rules for you is also a change in the rules for Gen X. True, Gen X has more time to save, but so do many Boomers. In fact, now is probably the best time to move the finish line -- before the bulk of the Boomers retire. Perhaps a phased in approach for extending the finish line would work. The longer you have until you reach 62, the further out the finish line can be moved. That way, you'll still have time to save a little more and take advantage of catch-up retirement savings allowances.
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:05 AM   #29
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Let's see......hmmmm...... Since the "Boomers" are pretty well content with the way SS is set up now, leave it "as is" for them. And since it seems that it's the "Gen X'ers" doing most of the complaining about the "Boomers" wanting to collect the SS that has been promised them, how about raising the SS tax on the "Gen X'ers" (and beyond), and extending the SS qualifying age for them.

That way the "Boomers" get what they want, and the "Gen X'ers" get what they want. Therefore, it's a "Win-Win" situation! Right?


BTW........I'm a FIRE'd "Boomer".......and when I hit 62, I want my money!!!
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Old 11-06-2007, 10:43 AM   #30
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No debate screams "clash of self-serving intergenerational self-interest" like the issue of "fixing" SS. Every generation points a finger at every other one, and in particular (IMO) the older generations refuse any solution that causes them to share any of the pain.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:06 PM   #31
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I'm 58 and retired, part of my calculations so I could retire contain the taking of SS at 62.

Jay, you are suggesting that you want to move the bar. If you want to move yours so be it but don't touch mine.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:17 PM   #32
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I paid in to SS, a little less than 40 credits, before I began working for the federal government at age 24. My husband paid in to SS for probably 20-25 years but died before collecting anything. Since I have a federal pension I don't believe I will be eligible to collect any of my husband's or my own SS....you young 'ens can have my share.
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:47 PM   #33
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I must have missed what you are talking about during the 60's and 80's. Worked and broke my a$$ my whole life and I can't wait to spend my SS $.
I don't know, but from what I've been told if you remember the 60's then you didn't experience the 60's. Since you say you think you might have missed it then I guess I can rest my case. The 80's have largely been touted as a decade of overindulgence. Granted many on this board probably do not fit in the category of overindulging, most people from the 80's do.

The mindset that many boomers seem to have is I paid into it my whole life and I want it back, I don't care what happens to anybody else, as long as I get mine. I think what many boomers are missing is the fact that EVERYONE has paid into the system and unfortunately soon after the boomer's start to kick it the system will be done. Leaving nothing for the people coming after, who also paid into the system their whole lives. Without at least one of two things happening the system is finished. We must either pay more taxes or cut benefits. Since the boomers are firmly against cutting benefits, at all, that leaves raising taxes until the boomers are past and a younger crown with all of their idiots come in and change the system. How much can we raise them without seriously hurting the economy?

73--Enjoy your SS, I doubt it will be here for the rest of the younger crowd. I'm glad we can make your early retirement so good. So much for leaving things better for people who follow.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:05 PM   #34
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You are right, I want what a worked for. I have every intension of enjoying it. Maybe if you would worry why the politicos are taking the money out and put a stop to it you would have something left when it's you turn. Amazing that you think anyone would give up what they worked for at the last minute.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have a pension and someone changed it at the last minute what would you say.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:33 PM   #35
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73ss454, here's a question for you. The numbers are abstract but they illustrate the issue ...

It's essentially like you have two choices:

(A) Boomers give up 15% of their expected benefits, while Gen X and Gen Y give up 25% of their future benefits (without any reduction in SS taxes).

(B) Boomers keep 100% of their expected benefits, while Gen X and Gen Y give up 40% of their future benefits (without any reduction in SS taxes).

Your comments seem to make it pretty clear that you'd choose B. Perhaps not surprising, but realize that this is what your choice is - it's "I want 100% of what I worked for, and the rest of you aren't my problem."

We all want "what we've worked for". Boomers will get 100% of "what they've worked for"; Gen-X will get 60% of "what they've worked for". Sucks? Yes. Fair? No.

An alternative would be Boomers get 85% of what they've worked for while Gen-X gets 75% of what they've worked for. Sucks? Yes. Fair? Not completely, but more so.

It won't happen. But Boomers who think they're taking the high road by insisting on 100% of their expected benefits should be reminded of the facts.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:43 PM   #36
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You are right, I want what a worked for. I have every intension of enjoying it. Maybe if you would worry why the politicos are taking the money out and put a stop to it you would have something left when it's you turn. Amazing that you think anyone would give up what they worked for at the last minute.

If you are one of the lucky ones who have a pension and someone changed it at the last minute what would you say.
We are worried about the politicos -- most of whom were or are YOUR generation. Your contemporaries hold the reins of power, and as a retiree (and probably a member of AARP for the discounts) you have both the time and money to make your voice heard in Washington, D.C.

Adjustments MUST be made to keep the system solvent for future generations. My prior post discussed a phased in approach. What's your bright idea for fixing things?
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:58 PM   #37
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Lusitan, I choose B. That's what I planned for and that's what I need.

Jay, if you want change than your generation has to change it. Too late in the game for me and I don't want a change at this point. If I had the time as you do to put this change into my plans then I would feel differently about it.

My bright idea is keep the politicians hands out of our till. They want to use our money for everything but it is there for. I put my share there and I want to take it out, simple as that.
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:58 PM   #38
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Adjustments MUST be made to keep the system solvent for future generations. My prior post discussed a phased in approach. What's your bright idea for fixing things?
I think we need to look at a phased-out change as well. Long term, I think SS should be transformed into a more need-based system with much lower payroll taxes to support only those who need it.

People pay 12.4% into Social Security (shared with their employer unless self-employed, but in reality the employee pays for it with reduced salary) now. If a 25-year-old could pay only 5% to fund current benefits and future needs-based benefits, would investing that 7.4% difference for 40 years make up for the SS benefits they'd lose? I would say yes, most likely it would and then some.

Obviously, math that works for someone who is 25 would not for someone who is 55, and a phased out or tiered approach would be necessary. I am just taking guesses at ages and percentages to make it work, but in principle, here's what I'd do (don't get hung up on specific numbers):

* Folks over about age 50 would be mostly grandfathered into the current system, but more affluent future recipients might have to forego a percentage of their benefit. They would continue to pay 12.4% into SS while they are w*rking since they are still "in the program".

* Folks under about 35 are no longer part of the program. In exchange they would have their SS taxes cut to 5% which would contribute toward paying current benefits as well as future benefits based on need. The other 7.4% would be invested in an appropriate lifecycle fund (perhaps using the TSP as a model) until at least age 62, at which time it could be rolled into an IRA or annuitized.

* Folks between 35 and 50 would be the "transition" generation. They are far enough away from retirement that making alternate plans isn't a catastrophe, but have paid enough into the system that it's not right to cut them out completely. This group would either have to "buy in" to the SS program with considerably reduced benefits compared to today, or else they could accept a lump-sum "buyout" from the SS program which they could roll into an IRA (again modeled after the TSP). If they "bought in" to SS they would receive reduced benefits but still pay 12.4%. If they allowed themselves to be bought out they would only pay 5% from here on out but would not receive any SS benefits.

No serious reform is possible unless all generations share some of the pain. I think such a tiered approach shares some of the pain but also acknowledges that the youngest workers of today have plenty of time to "come out ahead" by opting out and investing for themselves.

Of course this is too much like "personal accounts" so it would be DOA according to Reid and Pelosi.
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Old 11-06-2007, 03:01 PM   #39
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Jay, if you want change than your generation has to change it. Too late in the game for me and I don't want a change at this point. If I had the time as you do to put this change into my plans then I would feel differently about it.
And I will oppose any reform that does not share the pain across all generations.

Isn't it wonderful what an unsustainable Ponzi scheme has done for intergenerational relations?

I doubt you'd just "accept" getting screwed if you were younger, by the way.
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

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Old 11-06-2007, 03:24 PM   #40
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Interesting FAQ from the SSA:

Social Security's Future - FAQs
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