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Old 11-13-2015, 05:32 PM   #21
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If I was actually making that much, and retired, I would prefer they raise the employment taxes, not income taxes...

There are many other ways around this.

Require 20 years of working, not the current 10.
Average the past 40 years, not the current 35.
Adjust the bend points.
I would also add: remove the employee paid cap on social security tax, for this year it was $118,500.00. Just think of the revenue SS is missing on wages above that level.

I am pretty sure I wouldn't hit the level(s) listed in the OP, but I would be plenty P.O.'d if the money I had taken away at no choice was redistributed to others who didn't plan on retirement.

I am middle class-ish.... and see too many people in my wage range spending all they make and more because YOLO. If they get a bigger slice of SS because they didn't say no to the new cars every 2 years, or biannual vacations, or McMansions, then why should I? I don't want to be penalized for being one of the responsible ones.

I guess the problem is who decides where to draw the line? I do think it is ridiculous that Warren Buffet collects SS when he has more money than he can spend.
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Old 11-13-2015, 05:58 PM   #22
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If SS ever becomes truly means tested and turned into another welfare program, you can kiss it goodbye. .
Well, it is a welfare program now. There are people who get a social security check without ever having paid into the system. They are housewives, and they get a check, even if their husbands are still alive.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:28 PM   #23
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Those who have a high net worth tied up in real estate or other non liquid assets may be forced to sell assets to get the SS they were counting on. Of course, many will find ways to hide their assets...maybe even in their mattress.


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Old 11-13-2015, 06:42 PM   #24
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Very few countries tax net worth for the simple reason that once that game starts the incentives for hiding wealth outweigh any societal benefits. I'm sure that if NW becomes a factor in the calculation of SS benefits, American ingenuity will be up to the task. And SS will die a slow painful death. The only reason SS has survived this long is that people (particularly as they approach retirement) feel they paid into it and will get something out of it. That's how I feel (started SS at 62 3 years ago)
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:51 PM   #25
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Candidates should be thinking about how to fix the SS problem, not how to distribute it among citizens.
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Old 11-13-2015, 06:58 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ronnieboy View Post
I am middle class-ish.... and see too many people in my wage range spending all they make and more because YOLO. If they get a bigger slice of SS because they didn't say no to the new cars every 2 years, or biannual vacations, or McMansions, then why should I? I don't want to be penalized for being one of the responsible ones.
The people you are referring to had a very solid income and will get over $20K/yr in SS. Those people should be ok in retirement. The people I am concerned about are the people who worked 30+ years in low income jobs. They didn't blow their money, they never had money for anything but necessities. When they reach full retirement age they get less than, or around $1000/mo. They worked hard their whole lives and they barely make enough to just survive. One of the candidates proposed a minimum benefit for those who worked at least 30 years. I think it was somewhere are $1250/mo. That would be a good idea. Eliminating payments to people who didn't work 10+ years just because they're married to someone who did would be another good thing to do.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:05 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Ronnieboy View Post
I would also add: remove the employee paid cap on social security tax, for this year it was $118,500.00. Just think of the revenue SS is missing on wages above that level.

I am pretty sure I wouldn't hit the level(s) listed in the OP, but I would be plenty P.O.'d if the money I had taken away at no choice was redistributed to others who didn't plan on retirement.
Your two statements are at odds with each other. If you raised the cap then those paying in a lot more SS taxes will get very little for the money they pay in because of bend points. Their money goes to others primarily.
Of course most suggestions to raise the cap also want to add an additional bend that might even be 0%. Given that you say you would be P.O. if your money goes to somebody else but that's what you are advocating.
Of course this ignores the high federal taxes those above the cap have to pay. Most advocates of the cap raise don't want to share that bit of the equation.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:08 PM   #28
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I'm 56 now. Have I reached safe harbor yet?

DH who turns 61 first half next year is probably safe.
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Old 11-13-2015, 07:41 PM   #29
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As I've said in other similar threads about SS reform for those near or already receiving benefits.

Legalized Thievery.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:28 PM   #30
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It would have to be $3M and (not or) a $200K/yr income from retirement benefits. I always worry about things like a family that owns a farm worth over $3M, but are barely scraping by as far as income. Also they are planning to leave the family farm to the next generation. Things like that.

And yes, I know farmers never retire, they keel over in the John Deere in their 70s or 80s. It's just an example.
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Old 11-13-2015, 08:50 PM   #31
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so is the 3MM or 200k for a single person, or a married couple?
Is there a phase out for a none working spouse with higher income levels.

I know they likely did not get to that detail, but they should if they want to pass anything.
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:00 PM   #32
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It would have to be $3M and (not or) a $200K/yr income from retirement benefits. I always worry about things like a family that owns a farm worth over $3M, but are barely scraping by as far as income. Also they are planning to leave the family farm to the next generation. Things like that.

And yes, I know farmers never retire, they keel over in the John Deere in their 70s or 80s. It's just an example.
Dumb question... what is the difference among the farmer with a 3MM farm that wants to leave it to the kids, a retiree with 3MM who wants to leave it to the kids, or the business owner (or real estate owner) with 3MM in assets that wants to live it to the kids? .. or they family that owns a 3MM house?

I have issues knowing how to separate these. So if the farm is the only way out, do I buy a farm and either rent the fields or hire someone to tend to it?

I do understand the sentiment. But the farm is a business... or an investment. How do you pick one over the other? Or tell people the rules so they can move their money
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:09 PM   #33
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Ah, the old asset test.

Let's make sure back-annutize all those pensions to virtual assets to include them too.

Whatever...
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Old 11-13-2015, 09:26 PM   #34
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Dumb question... what is the difference among the farmer with a 3MM farm that wants to leave it to the kids, a retiree with 3MM who wants to leave it to the kids, or the business owner (or real estate owner) with 3MM in assets that wants to live it to the kids? .. or they family that owns a 3MM house?

I have issues knowing how to separate these. So if the farm is the only way out, do I buy a farm and either rent the fields or hire someone to tend to it?

I do understand the sentiment. But the farm is a business... or an investment. How do you pick one over the other? Or tell people the rules so they can move their money
As I said, just an example. A business would be a similar situation. And don't get me started on estate taxes. But my point is that there are a number of situations where something might be valued high enough to kick in the proposed SS limitations, so I would never agree to the proposal as long as it's an and/or situation. If you have a large net worth AND a large retirement income, then maybe, just maybe, a case could be made that you don't need to collect SS. Not saying I would agree for sure, but I can guarantee I'd be against the AND/OR version of it.
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:31 AM   #35
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I think the real issue is how much of the burden of our SS should today's young people bear vs how much we geezers should bear ourselves. Frankly, I'm a big boy and I'm ready to pull up my diaper and share the pain. I don't think today's young people should be paying increasing amounts into SS and waiting longer and longer to collect to fund gray beards who can get by on a bit less.
+1 SS is not broken. The trust fund is real (in the sense that our payroll deductions were dedicated to SS on paper and built a huge surplus up through the 90s and oughts). Our SS problem is simply that we used the excuse of the surplus to pass tax cuts that reduced the General Fund and then doubled down on that deficit by waging wars without restoring those taxes. Now we need to tweak SS to restore the paper balance and find sensible tax rates and spending cuts to restore some sanity (not zero balance) to our national finances (i.e. the General Fund). That restoration should impact all of us, not just our kids. We collectively created this mess by voting for it. The SS tweaks need not effect old farts significantly, maybe chained CPI and expanded taxation. No real cuts. Unless we want to cut off our kids - in which case we can vote for that and then complain about it when it happens.
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Old 11-14-2015, 06:55 AM   #36
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Our SS problem is simply that we used the excuse of the surplus to pass tax cuts that reduced the General Fund and then doubled down on that deficit by waging wars without restoring those taxes.
To me, the post above should be deleted, as it is going to a place where the posts should not.

One point is sure, the SS money was spent on many things, including the ACA credits which many here are fond of.
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Old 11-14-2015, 07:10 AM   #37
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Eliminating payments to people who didn't work 10+ years just because they're married to someone who did would be another good thing to do.
As a single person, this would not impact me, but it is an idea that would not fly. When you are in a married relationship, the reason one could make so much money is that the other did not work.

The uproar over the file and suspend elimination would be tiny compared to this. If they did this, would they also eliminate the spousal benefit at death? Or actuarially determine what the survivor payment should be based on the spouses age?

I could certainly see raising the SS cap for a married couple where only one worked and made more than the current cap. When both work, both are paying SS so they contribute more.

Or having a household cap of ~150% of the combined SS, regardless of how much each would have otherwise collected.
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:13 AM   #38
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