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Old 04-09-2017, 09:59 AM   #21
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The imminent demise of Social Security has been predicted for 80 years. The demise of Germany's 150 year-old similar system has probably been predicted by some for the entire time too.
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Old 04-09-2017, 10:20 AM   #22
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common belief? Check out joea's link to the info from the SS actuaries. More like a 24% haircut. Even with some means testing there would be no need to go over 30% for anyone. SS is not in the dumpster.


I'm sorry, but I can't believe any estimate or cost projection for any program originating from a government agency. But they will just print more money since no one in government from either party will ever cut entitlement spending. The national debt can just grow exponentially with no repercussions. So why worry?
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:27 AM   #23
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A post doesn't need to explicitly name a particular political party to be overtly partisan.
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Old 04-09-2017, 02:32 PM   #24
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SS's collapse has been predicted even before I started working back in '66: "it will be long-gone before you're eligible!!".

Regardless, potential changes --however unlikely-- are just one more reason to take it at 62; "get all you can while you can before the rules change".

So many on this forum have used up miles of Excel sheets figuring out the best SS result. How sad would it be to decide to wait ten more years to age 70 and then get short changed!
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Old 04-09-2017, 03:41 PM   #25
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My choice, subject of course to re-evaluation as I get closer, is to take it at 62 for solely longevity expectations based on current health and on my genetics. On the other hand, if one does not have such concerns,I do not think it all that helpful to suggest the rules will change for those already in their sixties. It did not with the last 'reform" in 1983, and I rather firmly believe will not with the next "reform" either whenever it comes. Only those still too young to care or pay attention, aside from the few exceptions such as those in this forum, will be affected. That's the only way it will pass, just like last time. SO, for those who wish, excel away and enjoy.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:00 PM   #26
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common belief? Check out joea's link to the info from the SS actuaries. More like a 24% haircut. Even with some means testing there would be no need to go over 30% for anyone. SS is not in the dumpster.
And it won't be in the dumpster. Social Security is one of the most popular and effective programs ever implemented by the federal government.

Raising SS taxes a percent or two, and gradually raising the maximum taxable social security wages over time could make Social Security fully solvent indefinitely.

Absent that, I could imagine gradually increasing the full retirement age and making 100 percent of social security income taxable for high income individuals.

The fact that there are many simple, relatively painless things that could be done, the fact that it looks bad for politicians to cut benefits from the elderly, and the fact that the elderly tend to vote in relatively higher percentages - all those tell me that something will be done.

It just won't happen until it must be done. That seems to be the way politics works these days.

So perhaps 2030 or so?
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:17 PM   #27
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Raising SS taxes a percent or two, and gradually raising the maximum taxable social security wages over time could make Social Security fully solvent indefinitely.
Exactly. I cannot, for the life of me understand why we can't do this AND why the doom and gloom continues decade after decade.

I always topped out my SS wages very early in the year (usually by March). I never would've minded paying the whole year if it got things on even keel.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:51 PM   #28
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Exactly. I cannot, for the life of me understand why we can't do this AND why the doom and gloom continues decade after decade.

I always topped out my SS wages very early in the year (usually by March). I never would've minded paying the whole year if it got things on even keel.
+1
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:54 PM   #29
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I look at this as a shortfall that begins somewhere around 2018. The excess SS taxes go into the Treasury. The Government spends the money just as they do any money they receive as taxes. When the SS taxes no longer cover SS payments, the Government will start paying the shortfall out of the general Treasury. The shortfall and amount contributed from general taxes will grow. The only thing that changes are these "magic" IOUs. It would cost the Government minimally more to fund SS after the IOUs have been depleted than it will the year before. The whole thing is just bookkeeping mumbo jumbo. If the politicians want to use the IOUs as a way to give retirees a haircut, they certainly can and they don't have to do anything to make it happen. There may be a bit of push back by the retired segment though.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:01 PM   #30
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Exactly. I cannot, for the life of me understand why we can't do this AND why the doom and gloom continues decade after decade.

I always topped out my SS wages very early in the year (usually by March). I never would've minded paying the whole year if it got things on even keel.
I topped out many of my latter years, and had the same feeling. I liked the extra money, but it would not impact me much to keep on paying.

Now that I am FIRE, that would not impact me at all, but I can except 100% taxation, based on INCOME.

I think anything smelling of means testing based on Net Worth is not going to happen. If two people make the same income, and one saves while the other spends, why should the benefit be different?

BTW, just my opinion, but I think the savers go to the polls more regularly
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:02 PM   #31
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So many on this forum have used up miles of Excel sheets figuring out the best SS result. How sad would it be to decide to wait ten more years to age 70 and then get short changed!
Well, I look at it this way. I'm still alive and kicking at 64. Just got off the phone with 86-year old Dad. Mom died last year at 85. When I was born, I had 4 living great-grandparents. If I keel over before age 70 I'll greatly regret not being around to see my wonderful grandchildren grow up but I sure as heck will not outlive my savings unless I buy an airplane or a yacht. If I live to a ripe old age I've maximized my possible stream of income I can't outlive. My biggest fear has been not having enough money for the highest possible quality of life in old age.

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I do not think it all that helpful to suggest the rules will change for those already in their sixties. It did not with the last 'reform" in 1983, and I rather firmly believe will not with the next "reform" either whenever it comes. Only those still too young to care or pay attention, aside from the few exceptions such as those in this forum, will be affected.
I disagree with this. Tweaking the tax code to make more of SS taxable (or, heaven forbid, phase it out at high income levels) could happen more easily than overhauls such as changing the retirement age or the contributions %s. Even among seniors, it could be popular with the ones who see that taking away someone else's SS (or a portion of it) will keep theirs intact. Still, I can't plan my finances based on speculation as to what "they" might do.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:13 PM   #32
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Exactly. I cannot, for the life of me understand why we can't do this AND why the doom and gloom continues decade after decade.

I always topped out my SS wages very early in the year (usually by March). I never would've minded paying the whole year if it got things on even keel.
+1. Always felt the same.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:30 PM   #33
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I'm sorry, but I can't believe any estimate or cost projection for any program originating from a government agency. But they will just print more money since no one in government from either party will ever cut entitlement spending. The national debt can just grow exponentially with no repercussions. So why worry?
Entitlement? And I thought my company and I were paying into this for future payback...ugh!
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:36 PM   #34
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I think anything smelling of means testing based on Net Worth is not going to happen. If two people make the same income, and one saves while the other spends, why should the benefit be different?
Also, it would become very advantageous to hide and disguise assets. People are very clever and I expect there would be lots of schemes springing up to dodge any asset test.
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:43 PM   #35
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Also, it would become very advantageous to hide and disguise assets. People are very clever and I expect there would be lots of schemes springing up to dodge any asset test.
Kind of like the ACA? I agree, engineering the outcome is a hobby of mine and I'm looking forward to actually playing the game one day...
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:15 PM   #36
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There may be a bit of push back by the retired segment though.
It's happened before.

If you search Youtube, you can find some hilarious video of a Representative literally running from some angry seniors in 1989.

AARP and a few other seniors' organizations are a powerful lobby. Many politicians are loathe to cross them.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:19 PM   #37
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My biggest fear has been not having enough money for the highest possible quality of life in old age.
That and "being a burden on my children" is often expressed as the biggest fear of many.
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Old 04-09-2017, 07:36 PM   #38
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Given the demise of the old-fashioned pension systems some of us have and many of our parents had, the idea of letting SS fall by the wayside... well.. it's not going to happen. I can see increasing taxes on SS for the higher income groups and raising the retirement age for those under 50 (after all they will probably live even longer than the Boomers). But, letting it fail? No, I can't see that happening.

Also, keep in mind that the level for taxing SS is fixed and not adjusted for inflation, so every year more and more of the SS earnings are being taxed in terms of real dollars.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #39
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Entitlement? And I thought my company and I were paying into this for future payback...ugh!


Guess you haven't considered the average paid out vs paid in by individuals (and their employers), not to mention those who receive without ever having paid into the system.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #40
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How are obviously political threads like these ok (speculating about the future of SS), but threads talking about the future of the ACA are not?
The threads talking about ACA were fine until some folks got into ideological type arguments which shut them down.
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