Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-25-2012, 12:47 AM   #21
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
That's exactly how college financial aid system works.
The difference here is that it's the student that's applying for the loan. It would not be fair to punish a student who thru no fault of their own had parents who didn't save for their college education. It might not be fair, but it's not the same thing as saving for your own retirement.
__________________

__________________
PaddyMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-25-2012, 02:36 AM   #22
Recycles dryer sheets
Focus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 473
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddyMac View Post
The Morningstar webinar last Saturday also referred to changes in SS; the panel agreed that anyone over the age of 50 should not expect changes in their benefits.
Interesting you should say that. "No one over 50 should worry" used to be the refrain. Unfortunately, what I've kept seeing lately is "no one over 55 should worry." As someone who falls between 50 and 55, and who is already going to be hit hard by the effects of the last SS restructuring (with the rise in the full retirement age to 67), I think politicians better stick to the original refrain if they want to have any chance of being re-elected.

I also remain convinced that we have to be careful not to overshoot in attempting to fix SS. Only a couple of tweaks will fix the program.
__________________

__________________
Focus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 04:29 AM   #23
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 65
I am not yet collecting Social Security (a few years to go) but isn't it already in a way means tested? I understood (perhaps incorrectly) if you have certain levels of other income, that more of your Social Security benefits are taxable than otherwise.
__________________
ProGolferWannabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 04:48 AM   #24
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
obgyn65's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: midwestern city
Posts: 4,061
IMO, "means tested" simply means that all your assets would be taken into consideration, including cash, gold or other tangibles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbay View Post
Would cash,gold or other tangibles outside the banking system be exempt?
__________________
Very conservative with investments. Not ER'd yet, 48 years old. Please do not take anything I write or imply as legal, financial or medical advice directed to you. Contact your own financial advisor, healthcare provider, or attorney for financial, medical and legal advice.
obgyn65 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 06:16 AM   #25
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Cville
Posts: 399
All the proposals I've seen discussed by lawmakers would keep SS the same for those 55 and older. However, with increase in SS disability and the cut in contributions SS will be in worse shape than previously estimated so changes to the 55 may be needed.

I agree any means testing would probably be against income. DA man already gets these figures in your tax returns each year and there is already a clear (if flawed) method of computing income. Note I didn't say easy method :-}
__________________
RetireBy90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 07:56 AM   #26
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 3,864
I agree with ProGolderWannabe and Friar1610 that SS is already to a degree means-tested by how it is taxed relative to overall income. I would increase the brackets from the 50%-85% but also index them like other income tax brackets.
__________________
Retired in late 2008 at age 45. Cashed in company stock, bought a lot of shares in a big bond fund and am living nicely off its dividends. IRA, SS, and a pension await me at age 60 and later. No kids, no debts.

"I want my money working for me instead of me working for my money!"
scrabbler1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 08:36 AM   #27
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
73ss454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: LaLa Land
Posts: 4,378
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
That's exactly how college financial aid system works.
I know but one does not have to go to college, but everyone gets older.
__________________
Work is something you do to get enough $ so you don't have to....Me.
73ss454 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 09:03 AM   #28
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,820
My guesses on means testing (if it happens):

1. They will base it primarily on income during retirement, not assets.
2. They won't include SS benefits themselves in the income calc.
3. They may find a way to include Roth distributions.

Because of #2, my plan to minimize means-tested losses is to defer taking SS. That reduces my non-SS assets and income, while increasing my SS income. One is included in the calc, the other isn't.

I would prefer that they do the means test based on income before retirement. So the relevant issue is how much you could have saved, not how much you actually saved. A backdoor version of this is included in many SS reform proposals (the code phrase is "progressive indexing"). We could do a lot more of it and I wouldn't be upset.

In terms of political likelihood, note this from the R response to the SOTU speech:
Quote:
It's absolutely so that everyone should contribute to our national recovery, including of course the most affluent among us. ... The better course is to stop sending the wealthy benefits they do not need, and ...
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 09:06 AM   #29
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,820
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipro3 View Post
How about reining in the raids on SS? First cut out the payouts to all those who aren't even US citizens, never worked a day in this country and refuse to learn our language.
Source?
__________________
Independent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 09:41 AM   #30
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,615
Quote:
Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
IMO, "means tested" simply means that all your assets would be taken into consideration, including cash, gold or other tangibles.
Right, but tangibles might be impossible for the government to independently verify/know about. That roll of gold coins is pretty much off the record. If it's not possible to verify something, then it's not practical to tax/weight benefits based on it. It would become a tax on honesty. Or, some would say, a tax on stupidity.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 09:59 AM   #31
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,403
I surmise that most people, like myself, are of the working stiff type who have to work to make a living through their life, meaning most if not all of their income is of the "earned income" type.

Then, how much each of us earned through our working life has already been recorded in the form of FICA tax that we paid. This in turn is already factored into the benefit that we are entitled. If two persons have the same salary history, they should have the same benefit. There is no reason to say one should now have less than his brother, because the former has saved more.

What am I missing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
...I would prefer that they do the means test based on income before retirement. So the relevant issue is how much you could have saved, not how much you actually saved...
Perhaps you meant to look at the income level that was above the FICA tax limit?

What people are hoping is that the pols may just propose to cut out SS benefits to rich people like Buffett, who would not miss it. True, billionaires would not miss it, as it is just a drop in their bucket, or perhaps they might not even bother to file for it. But even if not, how many billionaires are out there for this proposal to even make a dent?

Hence, I suspect that the benefit cut will be extended downward, to affect more people in the upper middle class. Not just the 1%, but perhaps the top 25%.

Again, I can understand helping out the poor people, but to think that I now have to subsidize many of my former colleagues, who made the same money as I did but had been indulging themselves while I saved, just drives me up the wall.
__________________
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leon Trotsky
NW-Bound is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 10:17 AM   #32
Full time employment: Posting here.
ronocnikral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 852
I believe that SS is means tested in many ways already. One example is based on "contributing" income...from the SS website:

Quote:
Social Security benefits are intended to replace only a percentage of a worker’s pre-retirement earnings. The way Social Security benefit amounts are figured, lower-paid workers get a higher return than highly paid workers. For example, lower-paid workers could get a Social Security benefit that equals about 55 percent of their pre-retirement earnings. The average replacement rate for highly paid workers is about 25 percent.
In addition, as a "young buck" here, I maintain that the issues with SS should be shared across the board. Maybe the cuts shouldn't be as deep for the old farts, but everyone should share this burden in some fashion. I'm sure there will be those claiming it is not fair, but neither is walking into the situation I see myself and other gen Y'ers walking into it--certainly we didn't borrow against the SS trust funds (at least we had absouletly, and probably still do, no clue what was going on while we were running around in diapers or just a twinkle in our parents' eyes).
__________________
ronocnikral is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #33
Moderator
ziggy29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 15,612
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddyMac View Post
The Morningstar webinar last Saturday also referred to changes in SS; the panel agreed that anyone over the age of 50 should not expect changes in their benefits. It's the younger employees (20 and 30) that will see the most changes.
As someone who is a little too young to be grandfathered into anything, I just hope they don't make it an all or nothing "cliff" that would royally screw those just barely too young to be sacred cows.
__________________
"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)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
ziggy29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 10:42 AM   #34
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Cville
Posts: 399
I think before we can really solve any problems with SS we need to change our thinking about it. I always thought that it was an earned benefit, like my pension or 401K. You contribute and you can then draw on that once you are of age.

However, I've come to try to look at it as just one more tax. The $$ collected may rate some sort of notation in a SSA database, but in reality, the funds collected from our checks just go into the fund for our govt to spend. SSA gets a bond to note how much they collected and gave over to treasury, but when that bond comes due where will the $$ come from? It's no different than other taxes, the general fund must redeem the bonds with current income or more borrowing.

So, lets agree we have been miss-informed and this is a program to pay a retirement or other stippend and not $$ put aside as we were lead to believe. Only once we accept that we were taken can we look at the current situation and move forward with a solution. Either restrict future retirement benefits, look at the disability program (WSJ has run several series on the problems here.) and/or look at the income from witholdings (did you notice they renamed them again? not FICA but FED/OASDI and FED/MED).

No Politics, no names, no parties, just my view on a broken system and how to start to fix it.

Just do it after I get mine Just kidding, I'm open to reduced benefits if it is part of a REAL solution.
__________________
RetireBy90 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 10:45 AM   #35
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 226
DH and I will both turn 55 this year and we dialed SS out of our retirement planning a long time ago. Recently, we have dialed it back in, however, as we did not anticipate the astronomical increases in the cost of health care that we have seen in the last decade. The SS that we will receive will help offset some of those costs.

I don't see how the government can effectively means test assets year in and year out, so my guess is that further means testing will be based on AGI. The $1M question is where they will draw the line.
__________________
misty57 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 10:56 AM   #36
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronocnikral
I believe that SS is means tested in many ways already. One example is based on "contributing" income...from the SS website:

In addition, as a "young buck" here, I maintain that the issues with SS should be shared across the board. Maybe the cuts shouldn't be as deep for the old farts, but everyone should share this burden in some fashion. I'm sure there will be those claiming it is not fair, but neither is walking into the situation I see myself and other gen Y'ers walking into it--certainly we didn't borrow against the SS trust funds (at least we had absouletly, and probably still do, no clue what was going on while we were running around in diapers or just a twinkle in our parents' eyes).
There is a danger of intergenerational conflict in this situation. Some Boomers have been responsible,saved andLBYM but many have not and for them SS will be critical for survival in old age. I've read somewhere that for SS and Medicare to continue in it's present form young workers would need to be taxed at 80% of their income . That's not going to happen.There will be changes and they'll be painful. We've allowed our politicians to spend beyond our means for 40 years and are passing on an additional 1.5 trillion in debt every year to the younger generations. It's a shameful situation but it's going to be hard to ask for shared sacrifice when the Banksters are not prosecuted and are bailed out with taxpayer money. There could be turbulent times ahead.
__________________
wolfbay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #37
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Independent View Post
Source?
I'll find an independent source but for now, Hmong for one. USA treats Hmong as political refugees and provide them instant SS benefits as soon as their feet hit US soil. I would imagine any refugees are getting this benefit, but for now I only know of Hmong for first hand. Once arrived, they then bring in several family members. Each of them gets a SS distribution as a dependent.
__________________
skipro3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 11:10 AM   #38
Moderator
MichaelB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Rocky Inlets
Posts: 24,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by skipro3 View Post
I'll find an independent source but for now, Hmong for one. USA treats Hmong as political refugees and provide them instant SS benefits as soon as their feet hit US soil. I would imagine any refugees are getting this benefit, but for now I only know of Hmong for first hand. Once arrived, they then bring in several family members. Each of them gets a SS distribution as a dependent.
If you have a source that documents this claim would you mind posting it? The political refugees I know are not eligible for any such benefit.
__________________
MichaelB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 11:10 AM   #39
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Placerville
Posts: 161
From this website;



http://www.visaus.com/benefits.html


Q. Can refugees receive SSI benefits?
A. Refugees can receive SSI benefits if they meet all the requirements for eligibility (such as having limited income and resources and being aged or disabled) and meet one of the following six criteria:
All refugees during their first seven years in the U.S. During their first seven years in the U.S., low-income refugees are eligible for SSI under the same rules as native-born citizens. This rule applies to all refugees, regardless of when they entered the country or whether they have adjusted their status since entering the U.S.
Refugees who were receiving SSI benefits on August 22, 1996: Refugees who were receiving SSI benefits on August 22, 1996,can continue to receive these benefits as long as they continue to meet all other SSI eligibility requirements.
Refugees who were living in the U.S. on August 22, 1996, and become disabled after that date: Refugees who were living in the U.S. on August 22, 1996, and become blind or disabled after that date are eligible for benefits if they meet other SSI requirements, regardless of when they apply or when the disability begins.
Long-term workers and certain of their family members: Refugees who have worked 40 quarters or can be credited with 40 quarters of work that qualify under the Social Security Act and who have adjusted their status to legally admitted permanent resident are eligible for SSI under the same rules as native-born citizens. Spouses receive credit for the quarters worked by their husbands/wives, and children under the age of 18 receive credit for the quarters worked by their parents. For qualifying quarters worked after December 31, 1996, to be credited, the refugee cannot have received Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), SSI, Food Stamps, Medicaid, or Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits during the quarter.
Armed Forces active personnel and veterans, and certain of their family members: Refugees who are currently in the Armed Forces and those who are veterans with honorable discharges who have met minimum active-duty requirements are eligible for SSI under the same rules as native-born citizens. The unmarried dependent children and spouses (including unremarried surviving spouses of deceased veterans) of these refugees also can be eligible for SSI if they are legally residing in the United States.
Citizens: Refugees who have become naturalized citizens are eligible for SSI under the same rules as native-born citizens.


This got me thinking that there is a difference between Social Security and Supplemental Security. That led me to this;


Difference between Social Security disability and SSI disability


That was about as clear as mud. So then I decided, who does one go to apply for SSI and found this;


http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html


So I'm guessing here but Social Security manages SSI but uses general tax dollars instead of wage taxes? A tax is a tax in my book.
__________________
skipro3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2012, 11:15 AM   #40
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,373
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfbay View Post
....I've read somewhere that for SS and Medicare to continue in it's present form young workers would need to be taxed at 80% of their income...
Again, no source? (I caved in and looked it up for you, and came up with one: https://www.cato.org/dailys/03-30-00.html--perhaps you have others?)

but it says

Quote:
the government's own reports indicate payroll tax increases of 40 percent to 80 percent would eventually be needed to pay all benefits promised to today's young workers.
This is not the same as being taxed at 80% of their income--it's up to an 80% increase on payroll taxes.

(The reason I think sources are important when we read something "somewhere" is that it lets other people see where we read it and decide what it means.)
__________________

__________________
“Would you like an adventure now, or would you like to have your tea first?” J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tools/Devices/Items/Equipment that helps you to Live Below Your Means nico08 FIRE and Money 86 01-14-2012 02:24 PM
Testing withdrawals swodo FIRE and Money 18 12-30-2011 10:16 AM
Testing - no need to respond Nuiloa Other topics 6 10-15-2011 10:39 AM
Frugal Beyond Your Means pimpmyretirement FIRE and Money 0 10-09-2011 07:37 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:29 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.