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Old 12-19-2011, 02:20 PM   #41
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Personally I think we should be a little more careful about using loaded and incendiary terms to demonize the positions of our "political adversaries." "Class warfare", like "fascist," "socialist" and "bigoted," are cheap and easy labels which intend to belittle and discredit those who hold the positions we are describing as such.
Just a small correction from my POV. I'm proud to be a socialist. People who are socialists have no problem with other people describing me that way too.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:43 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ziggy29 View Post
Personally I think we should be a little more careful about using loaded and incendiary terms to demonize the positions of our "political adversaries." "Class warfare", like "fascist," "socialist" and "bigoted," are cheap and easy labels which intend to belittle and discredit those who hold the positions we are describing as such.

As for this one, if there is more means testing and redistribution of wealth, it will most likely come in terms of annual income, not net worth, and as such some folks (myself included) are "engineering" a personal finance situation where one has significant (if not outlandish) assets but moderate current income -- keeping in mind that spending down already taxed assets can increase cash flow without adding to one's taxable income.
Ziggy29, Interesting that you would find the term 'class warfare' to be 'incendiary and cheap', it seems simply to be the truth.

From Wikipedia:
Class war or class warfare refers to a class conflict, or tensions between members of different social classes


Clearly those who complain about the 'rich' to achieve political gain intend to foment such conflict. If you consider that incendiary than I suppose the term 'rich' must also be so?

I think there may be a strong temptation to 'access' the thus far tax protected retirement accounts, perhaps indirectly perhaps directly via tax law changes. I already hear the cry to eliminate SS for those who 'don't need it' so I would not agree that those without high earned income would be safe.

It is good to get everyones thoughts...

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Old 12-19-2011, 02:44 PM   #43
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I worry about the same thing as OP.
I already feel targeted due to my federal pension.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:46 PM   #44
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The rich can ably defend themselves. The middle class cannot. When the shooting starts, I am going to join the mob.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:51 PM   #45
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Gosh, I hope I can get this post up before Porky sings his song.

Lemme get this straight:
These Boomers are hypothetically unable to save enough money to support themselves in retirement. However they're somehow able to exert political pressure on their elected representatives to "do something" to give them enough money to support themselves in retirement. This despite the fact that they have no assets to spare to bribe support the election campaigns of these politicians.

Meanwhile Congress struggles to figure out how to balance the current deficit budget, let alone find more subsidies for the allegedly impending indigent.

If these evil geniuses are indeed geniuses, then why ain't they already rich? And for those that are already rich, then why would they need the support of someone who's not?

I don't think this impoverished demographic's collective stupidity lack of foresight can be explained by conspiracy.

I think they're going to do what all the media pundits are threatening that they'll have to do: work until they die, live within their Social Security benefits, and develop a taste for Friskies.
Nords, just trying to have a serious conversation here.

If you look at the retirement demographics and overlay the percentage that will be self-sufficient after the bulk of the boomers retire, I think you will see the issue. True they will not have money to influence politicians, but they will have huge numbers of VOTES.
No conspiracy, but sometimes demographics can reach up and bite you.

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Old 12-19-2011, 03:33 PM   #46
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The parents' assets should be used down to a certain minimum amount before Government assistance starts. It might be $10k, but I don't think people should be put in the poor house before they can draw on assistance. Also real estate should be excluded when calculating the assets. Making people sell real estate to pay for long term care can devastate the family finances. Paying into Medicaid should be an insurance policy for our LTC, and also protect a certain minimum level of assets so that seniors can live in dignity and pass on some minimum level of assets to their children.
I agree with allowing some minimal amount of liquid assets to be retained, the use of the term "exhausted" was a misstatement on my part, but the post I was responding to seemed to suggest that it was ok to transfer parental wealth to children to become eligible for Medicaid LTC benefits.

I would not agree that real estate should be excluded - why should the heirs get property if the government has been providing LTC for the parents? I think the real estate could be sold and the proceeds used to provide for the parent's LTC until those funds are down to some minimal amount or alternatively, to the extent that Medicaid provides LTC because there are no more liquid assets then Medicaid has a lien on the property that must later be satisfied before the heirs get any proceeds from the sale of the property.

While I agree with the live in dignity part, if the parent's are supported by the state then why do the children deserve the proceeds from the sale of the property? Whatever they get is coming out of our collective pockets. In a situation like that the whatever is left of the liquid assets that were retained (the 10k in your example) would go to the children plus any proceeds from the sale of the property in excess of the amount paid by Medicaid for the parent's LTC.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:36 PM   #47
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Clearly those who complain about the 'rich' to achieve political gain intend to foment such conflict. If you consider that incendiary than I suppose the term 'rich' must also be so?
Likewise, clearly those who complain about the 'poor' to achieve political gain intend to foment such conflict. If you consider that incendiary than I suppose the term 'poor' must also be so?
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:58 PM   #48
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OK, so both "rich" and "poor" are four letter words. Now what?
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:06 PM   #49
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OK, so both "rich" and "poor" are four letter words. Now what?
We go back to the real problem. We raise taxes, reduce spending, or do a little of both. This likely means that FI will become harder and social benefits will decrease.

Really, though, both sides will glare at each other until the entire house of cards falls.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:16 PM   #50
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I think eridanus is spot-on. Most of us have found ways to stay under the radar. As my accountant once told me "the trick is to look like one of 'them' while being one of 'us'.."

At the same time 'Means Testing' has to be two of the most terrifying words in the FIRE world!

My take: the have-nots have been demanding their 'fair share' from the haves since the stone age; I don't see anything changing much...in fact, we only have to worry about the next 20-30 years and then who cares?
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:23 PM   #51
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Just a small correction from my POV. I'm proud to be a socialist. People who are socialists have no problem with other people describing me that way too.
A socialist ER is an oxymoron. In a socialist society people would not and could not retire early. Amassing those types of assets would require a free market system that allows you to save and invest and earn as you choose. In a true socialist society, anything extra you earn could not be saved and instead would be given back for the greater good.

I wonder where the Chinese or North Korean FIRE website is? I think too many people these days think they like socialism without actually understanding how it would affect them and society. There is a reason it never caught on.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:22 PM   #52
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While I agree with the live in dignity part, if the parent's are supported by the state then why do the children deserve the proceeds from the sale of the property? Whatever they get is coming out of our collective pockets. In a situation like that the whatever is left of the liquid assets that were retained (the 10k in your example) would go to the children plus any proceeds from the sale of the property in excess of the amount paid by Medicaid for the parent's LTC.
The critical point is what does Medicare buy you? LTC before or after the house is sold. The issue I see is that LTC can be expensive and result in middle class families not being able to pass on anything to their heirs. The passing on of wealth is important to social mobility and helps reduce wealth disparities. So I'd like to see Medicare being used to pay for LTC and also protecting some family assets
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:29 PM   #53
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A socialist ER is an oxymoron. In a socialist society people would not and could not retire early.
Not true.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:32 PM   #54
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A socialist ER is an oxymoron. In a socialist society people would not and could not retire early. Amassing those types of assets would require a free market system that allows you to save and invest and earn as you choose. In a true socialist society, anything extra you earn could not be saved and instead would be given back for the greater good.

I wonder where the Chinese or North Korean FIRE website is? I think too many people these days think they like socialism without actually understanding how it would affect them and society. There is a reason it never caught on.
Yep that's me, I'm an oxymoron.

A completely socialist society is like Plato's cave....interesting to think about, but an impractical way to live. I espouse a mixed economy with both a free market and public sector ownership. Progressive taxation for the greater good to provide certain services like public transportation and healthcare is good public policy, that's why I choose to live in MA. Obviously YMMV

I hope that all those that disagree with socialism will on principle send back their SS checks and refuse Medicare...
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:36 PM   #55
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In a true socialist society, anything extra you earn could not be saved and instead would be given back for the greater good.
In a true free market system, there are no regulations and monopolies would crush the competition and sell lead painted toys to the same kids who made the lead painted toys. Wait, they'd sell them to kids in another country, across a large ocean, who could afford the toys.

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I think too many people these days think they like socialism without actually understanding how it would affect them and society.
There is no one "socialist" economic model. It does not necessarily mean that "anything extra you earn could not be saved" and everything is shared, without any private property. Socialists do not all agree on how society is structured. For example, syndicalist socialists would oppose state ownership of the means of production, which is the traditional bogeyman of the talk show pundits.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:42 PM   #56
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The critical point is what does Medicare buy you? LTC before or after the house is sold. The issue I see is that LTC can be expensive and result in middle class families not being able to pass on anything to their heirs. The passing on of wealth is important to social mobility and helps reduce wealth disparities. So I'd like to see Medicare being used to pay for LTC and also protecting some family assets
Medicare buys you medical coverage, not LTC. Medicare does pay for nursing home care for a period of time while rehabilitating from a hospitalization but has a stiff deductible.

LTC is provided for the indigent under Medicaid. And you are right, LTC is expensive and as a result many middle class families will see their assets paid to the nursing home for their care and nothing will be passed on to the heirs. This is happening right now to my great aunt - she is in a nursing home and her assets are being depleted to pay for her care. If she persists (she's 94 and in ill health) there will come a time within the next few years where her assets will be gone and Medicaid will step in an begin picking up the bill and here heirs will get next to nothing.

Medicare is already on shaky financial ground as it is. If you want to add some sort of LTC coverage to Medicare you would have to increase rates dramatically for those that are working. I don't see that happening.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:09 PM   #57
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LTC is provided for the indigent under Medicaid. And you are right, LTC is expensive and as a result many middle class families will see their assets paid to the nursing home for their care and nothing will be passed on to the heirs.
Yep I meant Medicaid, my bad!
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:22 PM   #58
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There is no one "socialist" economic model. It does not necessarily mean that "anything extra you earn could not be saved" and everything is shared, without any private property. Socialists do not all agree on how society is structured. For example, syndicalist socialists would oppose state ownership of the means of production, which is the traditional bogeyman of the talk show pundits.
+1. I like the practicality and democracy inherent in syndicationalism and will buy from local cooperatives when I can. I'm drawn to libertarian socialism, hence the Anarchy avatar, as I don't like authority, but I reject it because it's like all radical libertarianism, left or right, that deals with the individual without regard for the groups to which all humans belong. If I had to choose I'd describe my self as Methodist by upbringing, Buddhist by inclination and a social democrat with libertarian tendencies. Try getting that out at cocktail parties, it's a real conversation killer.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:53 PM   #59
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I hope that all those that disagree with socialism will on principle send back their SS checks and refuse Medicare...
Any takers? It would be good for the rest of us.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:06 PM   #60
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Thanks, all! The moderator team would like to send our holiday best. As for this thread, it has run its course so for now
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