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View Poll Results: Is social security a critical part of your retirement plan?
I can live comfortably without social security 109 40.22%
My plan is dependent on receiving my full SS amount - no haircuts 37 13.65%
My plan is dependent on SS but would be okay with a 25% haircut 112 41.33%
What is social security? 13 4.80%
Voters: 271. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-09-2017, 12:01 PM   #81
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I think that there are many here in the US would happily trade part of their SS income for the Canadian $$ guarantees in healthcare costs. Sister-in law is a landed Canadian immigrant, with serious health problems that would have cost millions here in the US. Did not have to spend down to qualify, so their nest egg and estate is intact.

BTW... though I know that Canadian healthcare quality is a controversial subject, BIL and SIL who live on PEI, have never complained. They have lived there since 1976.
We have found that MC with the appropriate supplement is quite manageable financially though not "free" like the Canadian system. I don't know of any situation where we would be on the hook for "millions." Perhaps you were speaking of a time before eligibility for MC and perhaps without any health insurance. That WOULD be disastrous. My DW's SIL speaks highly of the Canadian system though she admits the wait time for some things is excessive. YMMV
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:16 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Actually, not a Ponzi scheme. I found this to be an enlightening read.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...=.967da1a99cd6
From the article:

Quote:
So Social Security has a funding gap equal to 0.7 percent of GDP over the next 75 years.
So what does this mean? I hate it when someone uses this kind of info to try to make their case look better. Numbers is hard and I doubt if the author has any idea what 0.7 percent of GDP over the next 75 years really means. Hint: Its not small.
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:39 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by Koolau View Post
We have found that MC with the appropriate supplement is quite manageable financially though not "free" like the Canadian system. I don't know of any situation where we would be on the hook for "millions." Perhaps you were speaking of a time before eligibility for MC and perhaps without any health insurance. That WOULD be disastrous. My DW's SIL speaks highly of the Canadian system though she admits the wait time for some things is excessive. YMMV
Under normal conditions medicare and supplement is workable, but try hospitalization and/or nursing homes for extended periods. SIL has been in and out of nursing homes for periods of 3 to 6 months at a time. In the US, Medicare coverage has limits, after which the costs are the responsibility of the patient. In effect, this would mean a spend down of assets until eligibility for medicaid comes into effect.

Here... for medicare limits:

https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/ho...inpatient.html

Supplement plans will vary.

There's Social Security, and social security... a difference.
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Old 06-09-2017, 02:29 PM   #84
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Would love to have SS, currently not eligible (on my record) between graduate school & then "retiring" in my early 30s to care for a parent who had what turned out to be a long (15+ years) but ultimately terminal disease.

Spouse teaches at a private (here that pays much less than public) school, so hers & my spousal benefit combined won't be much, even if we both wait to 70 to collect.
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Old 06-09-2017, 02:55 PM   #85
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SS is a nice monthly get, but w/o it life would still be pretty sweet.
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Old 06-09-2017, 02:56 PM   #86
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Although we are not wealthy, I really dislike it when I hear politicians talk about means testing. I don't believe we would even be in that group. I'll gladly take what I and past employers put in, in one lump sum!!! Yes I would be one of the lowly with a pitch fork in my hand if SS were denied to me!
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Old 06-09-2017, 04:10 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
I think that there are many here in the US would happily trade part of their SS income for the Canadian $$ guarantees in healthcare costs. Sister-in law is a landed Canadian immigrant, with serious health problems that would have cost millions here in the US. Did not have to spend down to qualify, so their nest egg and estate is intact.

BTW... though I know that Canadian healthcare quality is a controversial subject, BIL and SIL who live on PEI, have never complained. They have lived there since 1976.
Not an expert on US healthcare but I suspect we would probably be better off paying for health care insurance than getting taxed at higher rates across the board to pay for it.

But even then I think the Canadian system has much to recommend it. You would be hard pressed finding more than say 5% of Canadians that would rather a US style system. The vast majority of Canadians love our healthcare. Many cite it as the primary thing that makes Canadians different from Americans, although I suspect we that list has grown recently.

In some respects, well off Canadians can get around the wait times by having the procedure done in the US. For emergency type care the Canadian system works very well. Single payer systems supplemented by other private suppliers seems to work very well everywhere else.
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Old 06-09-2017, 06:58 PM   #88
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Yes, it is and should be given all we paid in along with our employers during our working lives. Don't give pols any ideas that SS isn't needed...it is a vital part of many people's plan to meet basic needs in retirement. Can't imagine what my 88 year old mother would do without it, as just one example. There are many others...
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:56 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Under normal conditions medicare and supplement is workable, but try hospitalization and/or nursing homes for extended periods. SIL has been in and out of nursing homes for periods of 3 to 6 months at a time. In the US, Medicare coverage has limits, after which the costs are the responsibility of the patient. In effect, this would mean a spend down of assets until eligibility for medicaid comes into effect.

Here... for medicare limits:

https://www.medicare.gov/coverage/ho...inpatient.html

Supplement plans will vary.

There's Social Security, and social security... a difference.
I think this thread is about SS and how it impacts our budget... Not about the Canadian Health care system as it compares to medicare.

At the risk of continuing a hijack - nursing home care is not technically covered or only partially covered, from what I can tell, in Canada's system. Same can be said for the US... up to 100 days get some coverage under medicare. If you have no other assets - medicaid will pick up the nursing care bill after your income is applied to the bill.

Here's the source I found for Canada's coverage of long term care:
Quote:
Long-term care and end-of-life care provided in nonhospital facilities and in the community are not considered insured services under the Canada Health Act
Canada : International Health Care System Profiles
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:36 PM   #90
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Yes, it is and should be given all we paid in along with our employers during our working lives. Don't give pols any ideas that SS isn't needed...it is a vital part of many people's plan to meet basic needs in retirement. Can't imagine what my 88 year old mother would do without it, as just one example. There are many others...
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:57 PM   #91
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We could manage without it but I busted my butt for 40 years so would be ticked to find out it wasn't there. It will definitely pay for some niceties.
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Old 06-09-2017, 10:12 PM   #92
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Our retirement budget is probably on the high side for folks on this forum. Withdraw rate will be less than 4%, but not by a lot. Combined SS be about $36,000 when I start taking it at FRA In about 1-1/2 years. So, if SS went away, I couldn't really increase withdraw rate and would need to cut back spending by $36,000. We could still easily cover our bills, but it would put a definite crimp in our lifestyle.
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Old 06-09-2017, 11:21 PM   #93
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I do not include SS in my planning but I still hope to get a decent amount from SS when the time comes.
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Old 06-10-2017, 01:41 AM   #94
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Originally Posted by dixonge View Post
Actually, not a Ponzi scheme. I found this to be an enlightening read.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...=.967da1a99cd6
https://mises.org/library/social-sec...scheme-history

I found this to be an interesting read.

Ok, maybe just a partial Ponzi scheme, but the most successful one so far. The main point, "your" money has already been paid to retirees while you were working. Your payment is coming from current workers, not " the lockbox".
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Old 06-10-2017, 03:24 AM   #95
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Older folks are a big voting group so I can't see pols messing with it too much. The UK election has just shown how important older folks are. The PM had no need to call an election but did so because the polls had her party 20 points ahead. She then put out a manifesto promising to not put a cap on long term care costs, means test the winter fuel allowance and change the formula on the COLA for UK SS which will cut the annual increase.

Surprisingly she has lost her majority and is now struggling to form a government
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:36 AM   #96
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Yes, it is and should be given all we paid in along with our employers during our working lives. Don't give pols any ideas that SS isn't needed...it is a vital part of many people's plan to meet basic needs in retirement. Can't imagine what my 88 year old mother would do without it, as just one example. There are many others...
I agree that it can't be eliminated without some sort of replacement- but my nightmare scenario is that "they" replace it with some sort of guaranteed minimum income for former SS beneficiaries- maybe higher than the current average SS payment (one Motley Fool article estimates $1,360/month) but low enough that those of us who have other income sources will get zero.

Years ago, I had the chance to meet Bob Myers, an actuary who was one of the architects of Social Security and who write a giant tome on the subject that I had to study for an actuarial exam. I asked him if SS would ever be means-tested and he said that would be a bad idea because it would discourage individual savings. With taxation of benefits, of course, it's already started.
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:36 AM   #97
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We're currently at <3% withdrawal rate. DH is on SSDI and has a pension which allows our rate to be so low. If I receive 100% of my benefit, our withdrawal rate will be 0% based on our current expenses. When I was developing our plan, I estimated SS at 70% for both of us and didn't plan for DH to become disabled. We're a little ahead of the game right now, but things happen, so I don't live it up yet.
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Old 06-10-2017, 08:34 AM   #98
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Here's the source I found for Canada's coverage of long term care:

Canada : International Health Care System Profiles
Yes LTC is a major wild card in Canada. But people of limited means are looked after. The government takes 80% of your total Income and then provides a good facility. Since 20% is not enough to live comfortably, family and friends are relied on to supply extras. I have a friend in such an arrangement and computer Internet and long distance are not covered so his son bought him an iPad with a plan.

It is always good to have an advocate so they cannot ignore your health needs. They will keep you alive but sometimes delay optional treatments that would improve quality of life. An exercise program is a good example.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:14 AM   #99
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Yes. The lack of it would turn a modestly comfortable ER to a rather straitened one. As Neihn said, we worked hard for it, and I'll be the first to man the barricades if anyone tries to renege on that promise.
Amen! I get my reduced one now, DH will start spousal the end of the year. We do not need it but have incorporated it into the budget to reduced withdrawals from the pile.

I volunteer for many who could not survive without this benefit.
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Old 06-10-2017, 11:15 AM   #100
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We've gotten along just fine for the last seven years without it. I became eligible at 62 a few months ago but I'm waiting at least until Medicare age to start taking it.

I won't be getting much, right now it would be under $600/mo. so after taking out Medicare and some taxes it will be a small, but appreciated sum.
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