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Posted: 10/9/2007 10:15:50 PM EDT
And so it will begin.


www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20071009/1a_cover09.art.htm

Drain on the system picks up in Jan., when millions born in '46 start taking benefits
By Richard Wolf
USA TODAY

EARLEVILLE, Md. — When Kathleen Casey-Kirschling signs up for Social Security benefits Monday, it will represent one small step for her, one giant leap for her baby boom generation — and a symbolic jump toward the retirement system's looming bankruptcy.

Casey-Kirschling — generally recognized as the nation's first boomer (born in Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 1946, at 12:00:01 a.m.) — won't bankrupt the Social Security system by taking early retirement at 62. But after her, the deluge: 80 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964 who could qualify for Social Security and Medicare during the next 22 years.

The first wave of 3.2 million baby boomers turns 62 next year — 365 an hour. About 49% of the men and 53% of the women are projected to choose early retirement and begin drawing monthly Social Security checks representing 75% of the benefit they'd be entitled to receive if they waited four more years to retire.

In 2011, they'll turn 65 and be eligible for Medicare. In 2012, those who didn't take early retirement benefits will turn 66 and qualify for their full share.

"Once it starts to happen, and it's going to start in January, you're going to see millions of baby boomers starting to take it," says Casey-Kirschling, a retired seventh-grade teacher and nutrition consultant.

By 2030, Social Security's caseload will be 84 million people, up from 50 million today. Medicare will go from 44 million beneficiaries to 79 million. That will leave barely more than two workers paying payroll taxes for every retiree.

The boomer retirements have demographers, actuaries and economists worried as they prepare for an estimated $50 trillion in future obligations over the next 75 years. Social Security will rise from 4% to 6% of the nation's economy. Medicare will go from 3% to 11%.

"This," says Brian Riedl of the conservative Heritage Foundation, "is the single greatest economic challenge of our era."

Medicare's hospital insurance fund now pays out more than it takes in. Barring action by Congress, Social Security will start doing so in 2017. In 2019, the hospital insurance fund is projected to run out of funds. In 2041, the Social Security Trust Fund will run dry.

All the while, Medicare's payments for doctors and prescription drugs are projected to rise faster than the nation's overall economic growth. Beneficiaries' premiums, deductibles and co-payments will rise faster than their incomes, the government says.

It's a coming financial implosion that Washington hasn't mustered the will to confront. Fixing Social Security solely with higher taxes or cuts in spending would mean a 16% increase in the payroll tax or a 13% cut in benefits. Medicare's needs would be far greater: a 122% payroll tax hike or a 51% reduction in spending, just for hospital care.

Each year action isn't taken, the prognosis gets worse and the cure more expensive. It's "the power of compounding," says David Walker, the nation's comptroller general. "Right now, it's working against us."

On this one issue, liberals and conservatives agree: It's an unsustainable path, it must be altered, and Democrats and Republicans must do it together.

"Partisanship on this issue is as foolish as a food fight on the Titanic," says Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. Adds Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.: "It's not red or blue."

So far Washington has done little.

President Bush and Congress cut taxes in 2001 and 2003, which has left federal revenue at a level that Walker says will not support promises to future retirees. Congress added $768 billion over 10 years to Medicare in 2003 by creating a prescription-drug benefit. Two years later, lawmakers nicked Medicaid's projected cost by $5 billion over five years, but the Congressional Budget Office still projects the program to grow by about 8% a year.

Bush tried to overhaul Social Security and create private investment accounts in 2005 but was blocked by Democrats, who said it would drain money from the Social Security Trust Fund. Last week, his administration renewed an effort to charge upper-income seniors more for Medicare's prescription-drug coverage — a plan Congress ignored earlier this year.

Now a few lawmakers and budget analysts are sounding the alarm. Three commissions have been proposed to study the issue, recommend changes and, in two cases, force Congress to vote.

Walker is headlining a group of analysts from the political left and right on a nationwide "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour," speaking to dozens of Rotary clubs and newspaper editorial boards. Pollsters are holding focus groups in which citizens, once informed of the nation's fiscal future, usually say they'll accept tax increases or cuts in benefits.

Casey-Kirschling recently moved with her husband, Patrick Kirschling, a university professor who turns 62 in March, into what had been their summer home on Maryland's Bohemia River. After years of working, they want the good life: time with family and friends, volunteer work, a villa in Florida and a 42-foot trawler to get them there. Its name: "First Boomer."

In deciding when to take Social Security benefits, the couple did the math and agreed Casey-Kirschling would take the money next year. They estimate she will get $240 less per month than she would have if she waited four years, but the money she'll receive — she wouldn't say precisely how much that will be — initially will stop her from having to tap other investments, she says.

"I could be dead next year," she says, "so why not take it this year?"

The imbalance between workers and beneficiaries didn't happen overnight. In 1945, a decade after Social Security was created, there were 42 workers paying into the system for each retiree. Today, there are three. By 2030, Riedl says, "Every couple will have their own retiree to support."

Lawmakers have long known this. But in recent years, the short-term deficit picture has improved, masking the long-term problem.

The annual budget deficit dropped from $413 billion in 2004 to about $161 billion this year, but much is not included in that calculation: money owed to the Social Security Trust Fund, future federal and military retirement costs, obligations to veterans and more.

Nothing drives the problem home better than the baby boom generation. The impact of baby boomers on the Social Security and Medicare systems started in about 1990, when they began entering their 40s and were more prone to getting hurt or sick. The number of Americans claiming disability benefits doubled from 4.2 million in 1990 to 8.4 million in 2006.

"This has been going on for some years already," says Rick Foster, Medicare's chief actuary.

Now the boomers are readying for retirement. The Class of 1946 features some big names: President Bush, Laura Bush, former president Bill Clinton. (Hillary Rodham Clinton follows a year later.) Also turning 62 next year are five U.S. senators and 22 House members.

In each retiree's case, the decision on whether to take Social Security benefits now or later hinges on two issues: life expectancy and investment acumen. Those who take Social Security at 62 will get only 75% of their full benefit each month for the rest of their lives. Those who put off receiving the benefits get a higher percentage of their full benefit, up to 100% for those who wait until age 66 to retire. Those who wait up to age 70 can get 132% of their full benefit.

If you expect to live to a ripe old age, financial planners say, it may be worth waiting for the larger benefit at age 66 or later. But if you're investment-savvy or can put the money to good use now, it may be worth taking early retirement.

"Most people are claiming (benefits) in their early 60s," says Andrew Eschtruth of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Average age: 63.

The actuaries at Social Security have accounted for such decisions. Because benefits are reduced for early retirement, the choices retirees make won't affect the long-term solvency of the system, says Stephen Goss, Social Security's chief actuary.

The Medicare situation is far worse. As baby boomers age, so will the average age of beneficiaries, and with it the medical costs that accompany longevity. Recognizing that health care costs present the greatest threat to the federal budget and economy, the Congressional Budget Office has revamped its operation to find new ways to lower costs.

While bickering over $22 billion that Democrats want to add to Bush's 2008 budget of $1.9 trillion, the White House and Congress realize bigger issues lie ahead.

"In 10 years, Social Security will turn upside down," says White House budget director Jim Nussle, referring to when paid benefits will outweigh taxes coming in. "Anything we can do to wake people up to this challenge is important."

That's where the "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour" comes in. The presentation by the traveling troupe of policy watchdogs — hardly anyone's idea of entertainment — has appeared in 22 states so far, seeking to ignite public interest and political action. "The American people are starved for two things: truth and leadership," Walker says.

Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition, which organized the tour, opened a recent event in Manchester, N.H., with a reference to that state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. "The first thing I want to do is assure you that none of us is running for president," he said. "After you hear what we have to say, you'll understand why."

During the next hour, the local chamber of commerce was treated to a series of PowerPoint presentations with arrows that invariably pointed the wrong way. Negative savings rates. Rising health care costs. An aging population.

Pushing aside her chicken and rice in the back of the room, Manchester insurance agent Kathy Sousa, 55, started jotting down fixes she would be willing to consider. The first one was profound: stopping heroic care for the terminally ill, which costs Medicare billions. "This gets to be a very emotional conversation," she said.

It's getting emotional in Washington as well. Even the debate over immigration is connected, because an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants make up a growing share of the payroll tax-paying workforce. The influx of immigrants helps to slow down the inexorable decline in the number of workers per retiree.

Cooper and Wolf last month proposed a panel that would force Congress to vote up-or-down on a fiscal fix — akin to the process now used to close military bases.

That's because the solutions aren't pretty: raising the retirement age for full Social Security benefits past 67, the current limit for people born in 1960 or later. Charging wealthier Medicare beneficiaries more — a new reality for doctors' care — or giving them less. Raising or eliminating the $97,500 wage cap for payroll taxes. Perhaps all of that and more.

Drinking tea on their porch, Casey-Kirschling and her husband say they're willing to do their part on behalf of their two daughters, who are socking money away for retirement because they don't expect much government help.

"I can't imagine what's going to happen with our children and our grandchildren," Casey-Kirschling says. "They're not going to be able to retire."


Drain on the system picks up in Jan., when millions born in '46 start taking benefits
By Richard Wolf
USA TODAY

EARLEVILLE, Md. — When Kathleen Casey-Kirschling signs up for Social Security benefits Monday, it will represent one small step for her, one giant leap for her baby boom generation — and a symbolic jump toward the retirement system's looming bankruptcy.

Casey-Kirschling — generally recognized as the nation's first boomer (born in Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 1946, at 12:00:01 a.m.) — won't bankrupt the Social Security system by taking early retirement at 62. But after her, the deluge: 80 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964 who could qualify for Social Security and Medicare during the next 22 years.

The first wave of 3.2 million baby boomers turns 62 next year — 365 an hour. About 49% of the men and 53% of the women are projected to choose early retirement and begin drawing monthly Social Security checks representing 75% of the benefit they'd be entitled to receive if they waited four more years to retire.

In 2011, they'll turn 65 and be eligible for Medicare. In 2012, those who didn't take early retirement benefits will turn 66 and qualify for their full share.

"Once it starts to happen, and it's going to start in January, you're going to see millions of baby boomers starting to take it," says Casey-Kirschling, a retired seventh-grade teacher and nutrition consultant.

By 2030, Social Security's caseload will be 84 million people, up from 50 million today. Medicare will go from 44 million beneficiaries to 79 million. That will leave barely more than two workers paying payroll taxes for every retiree.

The boomer retirements have demographers, actuaries and economists worried as they prepare for an estimated $50 trillion in future obligations over the next 75 years. Social Security will rise from 4% to 6% of the nation's economy. Medicare will go from 3% to 11%.

"This," says Brian Riedl of the conservative Heritage Foundation, "is the single greatest economic challenge of our era."

Medicare's hospital insurance fund now pays out more than it takes in. Barring action by Congress, Social Security will start doing so in 2017. In 2019, the hospital insurance fund is projected to run out of funds. In 2041, the Social Security Trust Fund will run dry.

All the while, Medicare's payments for doctors and prescription drugs are projected to rise faster than the nation's overall economic growth. Beneficiaries' premiums, deductibles and co-payments will rise faster than their incomes, the government says.

It's a coming financial implosion that Washington hasn't mustered the will to confront. Fixing Social Security solely with higher taxes or cuts in spending would mean a 16% increase in the payroll tax or a 13% cut in benefits. Medicare's needs would be far greater: a 122% payroll tax hike or a 51% reduction in spending, just for hospital care.

Each year action isn't taken, the prognosis gets worse and the cure more expensive. It's "the power of compounding," says David Walker, the nation's comptroller general. "Right now, it's working against us."

On this one issue, liberals and conservatives agree: It's an unsustainable path, it must be altered, and Democrats and Republicans must do it together.

"Partisanship on this issue is as foolish as a food fight on the Titanic," says Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn. Adds Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va.: "It's not red or blue."

So far Washington has done little.

President Bush and Congress cut taxes in 2001 and 2003, which has left federal revenue at a level that Walker says will not support promises to future retirees. Congress added $768 billion over 10 years to Medicare in 2003 by creating a prescription-drug benefit. Two years later, lawmakers nicked Medicaid's projected cost by $5 billion over five years, but the Congressional Budget Office still projects the program to grow by about 8% a year.

Bush tried to overhaul Social Security and create private investment accounts in 2005 but was blocked by Democrats, who said it would drain money from the Social Security Trust Fund. Last week, his administration renewed an effort to charge upper-income seniors more for Medicare's prescription-drug coverage — a plan Congress ignored earlier this year.

Now a few lawmakers and budget analysts are sounding the alarm. Three commissions have been proposed to study the issue, recommend changes and, in two cases, force Congress to vote.

Walker is headlining a group of analysts from the political left and right on a nationwide "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour," speaking to dozens of Rotary clubs and newspaper editorial boards. Pollsters are holding focus groups in which citizens, once informed of the nation's fiscal future, usually say they'll accept tax increases or cuts in benefits.

Casey-Kirschling recently moved with her husband, Patrick Kirschling, a university professor who turns 62 in March, into what had been their summer home on Maryland's Bohemia River. After years of working, they want the good life: time with family and friends, volunteer work, a villa in Florida and a 42-foot trawler to get them there. Its name: "First Boomer."

In deciding when to take Social Security benefits, the couple did the math and agreed Casey-Kirschling would take the money next year. They estimate she will get $240 less per month than she would have if she waited four years, but the money she'll receive — she wouldn't say precisely how much that will be — initially will stop her from having to tap other investments, she says.

"I could be dead next year," she says, "so why not take it this year?"

The imbalance between workers and beneficiaries didn't happen overnight. In 1945, a decade after Social Security was created, there were 42 workers paying into the system for each retiree. Today, there are three. By 2030, Riedl says, "Every couple will have their own retiree to support."

Lawmakers have long known this. But in recent years, the short-term deficit picture has improved, masking the long-term problem.

The annual budget deficit dropped from $413 billion in 2004 to about $161 billion this year, but much is not included in that calculation: money owed to the Social Security Trust Fund, future federal and military retirement costs, obligations to veterans and more.

Nothing drives the problem home better than the baby boom generation. The impact of baby boomers on the Social Security and Medicare systems started in about 1990, when they began entering their 40s and were more prone to getting hurt or sick. The number of Americans claiming disability benefits doubled from 4.2 million in 1990 to 8.4 million in 2006.

"This has been going on for some years already," says Rick Foster, Medicare's chief actuary.

Now the boomers are readying for retirement. The Class of 1946 features some big names: President Bush, Laura Bush, former president Bill Clinton. (Hillary Rodham Clinton follows a year later.) Also turning 62 next year are five U.S. senators and 22 House members.

In each retiree's case, the decision on whether to take Social Security benefits now or later hinges on two issues: life expectancy and investment acumen. Those who take Social Security at 62 will get only 75% of their full benefit each month for the rest of their lives. Those who put off receiving the benefits get a higher percentage of their full benefit, up to 100% for those who wait until age 66 to retire. Those who wait up to age 70 can get 132% of their full benefit.

If you expect to live to a ripe old age, financial planners say, it may be worth waiting for the larger benefit at age 66 or later. But if you're investment-savvy or can put the money to good use now, it may be worth taking early retirement.

"Most people are claiming (benefits) in their early 60s," says Andrew Eschtruth of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Average age: 63.

The actuaries at Social Security have accounted for such decisions. Because benefits are reduced for early retirement, the choices retirees make won't affect the long-term solvency of the system, says Stephen Goss, Social Security's chief actuary.

The Medicare situation is far worse. As baby boomers age, so will the average age of beneficiaries, and with it the medical costs that accompany longevity. Recognizing that health care costs present the greatest threat to the federal budget and economy, the Congressional Budget Office has revamped its operation to find new ways to lower costs.

While bickering over $22 billion that Democrats want to add to Bush's 2008 budget of $1.9 trillion, the White House and Congress realize bigger issues lie ahead.

"In 10 years, Social Security will turn upside down," says White House budget director Jim Nussle, referring to when paid benefits will outweigh taxes coming in. "Anything we can do to wake people up to this challenge is important."

That's where the "Fiscal Wake-Up Tour" comes in. The presentation by the traveling troupe of policy watchdogs — hardly anyone's idea of entertainment — has appeared in 22 states so far, seeking to ignite public interest and political action. "The American people are starved for two things: truth and leadership," Walker says.

Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition, which organized the tour, opened a recent event in Manchester, N.H., with a reference to that state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary. "The first thing I want to do is assure you that none of us is running for president," he said. "After you hear what we have to say, you'll understand why."

During the next hour, the local chamber of commerce was treated to a series of PowerPoint presentations with arrows that invariably pointed the wrong way. Negative savings rates. Rising health care costs. An aging population.

Pushing aside her chicken and rice in the back of the room, Manchester insurance agent Kathy Sousa, 55, started jotting down fixes she would be willing to consider. The first one was profound: stopping heroic care for the terminally ill, which costs Medicare billions. "This gets to be a very emotional conversation," she said.

It's getting emotional in Washington as well. Even the debate over immigration is connected, because an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants make up a growing share of the payroll tax-paying workforce. The influx of immigrants helps to slow down the inexorable decline in the number of workers per retiree.

Cooper and Wolf last month proposed a panel that would force Congress to vote up-or-down on a fiscal fix — akin to the process now used to close military bases.

That's because the solutions aren't pretty: raising the retirement age for full Social Security benefits past 67, the current limit for people born in 1960 or later. Charging wealthier Medicare beneficiaries more — a new reality for doctors' care — or giving them less. Raising or eliminating the $97,500 wage cap for payroll taxes. Perhaps all of that and more.

Drinking tea on their porch, Casey-Kirschling and her husband say they're willing to do their part on behalf of their two daughters, who are socking money away for retirement because they don't expect much government help.

"I can't imagine what's going to happen with our children and our grandchildren," Casey-Kirschling says. "They're not going to be able to retire."
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 10:23:34 PM EDT
That sounds about right, I pay in to something I will never get
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 10:31:09 PM EDT
THERE IS NO FUCKING SS TRUST FUND!!!!!!

Stupid pyramid scheming motherfuckers....
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 10:31:14 PM EDT
The next six years are gonna be fun.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 10:37:04 PM EDT
The mexicans will save us.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 10:37:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Burley:
THERE IS NO FUCKING SS TRUST FUND!!!!!!

Stupid pyramid scheming motherfuckers....


Ayup.

I don't know how they calculated the estimate on when it will be dry, as all the SS fund money is invested in the regular Federal budget via T-Bill "investments."
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:22:26 AM EDT
Grab your ankles everyone. When the Dems "fix" SS they will come after YOUR share.

I predict that SS will:

1) become more "need" based (decided of course by the Marxist Libs)

2) reduced benefits for those who "make more" and don't "need" as much regardless of how much you put in to the fund

3) increased retirement age

4) THEN they will come after your 401K and take that amount into consideration when determining your SS benefit amount.


Make no mistake, this is inevitable. It's a mathematical certainty at this point considering that NO POLITICIAN has the guts to step up to the camera and say, "You don't put into the system, you don't anything from the system."

Never gonna happen.

I'm packing 12% of my paycheck into my 401K and I'm worried that the goobermint will come after that.


CMOS
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:29:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CMOS:
Grab your ankles everyone. When the Dems "fix" SS they will come after YOUR share.

I predict that SS will:

1) become more "need" based (decided of course by the Marxist Libs)

2) reduced benefits for those who "make more" and don't "need" as much regardless of how much you put in to the fund

3) increased retirement age

4) THEN they will come after your 401K and take that amount into consideration when determining your SS benefit amount.


Make no mistake, this is inevitable. It's a mathematical certainty at this point considering that NO POLITICIAN has the guts to step up to the camera and say, "You don't put into the system, you don't anything from the system."


Yep


The first one was profound: stopping heroic care for the terminally ill, which costs Medicare billions. "This gets to be a very emotional conversation," she said.


This is one big reason why healthcare will become socialized, to manage the costs of the ill boomers who want to spend billions to eke out another 3 months of life in a hospital bed with IVs sticking into every vein. Then you will see terminal-care triage, where the govt decides which terminal patients get the care and which don't.....

I'm a cancer survivor, and if I'm over age 65 and get it again, I'm not spending the last days of my life going thru chemo again. It'll be hookers and cocaine til I pass out and take the Long Nap.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:31:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:34:46 AM EDT
I say us boomers need to have a run on SS before it's all gone.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:36:06 AM EDT
The Democrat LBJ with the help of the Democratically-controlled Congress took a bad system and made it unimaginably worse.

His social programs will bankrupt this country. We ought to dig up his remains, hang them, cremate them and then scatter the ashes in a landfill in Jersey.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:41:00 AM EDT
I don't expect to collect a dime from SS. Either it will be bankrupt and defunct before then, or I'll be too well off to qualify since I'm being fiscally responsible and saving for my retirement.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:47:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RV-1:
I say us boomers need to have a run on SS before it's all gone.


Born in '67, and I think our boomer parent generations are going to use their voting power to suck that bitch dry-"Vote for me and I'll raise the SS COLA."
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:51:28 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CMOS:
Grab your ankles everyone. When the Dems "fix" SS they will come after YOUR share.

I predict that SS will:

1) become more "need" based (decided of course by the Marxist Libs)

2) reduced benefits for those who "make more" and don't "need" as much regardless of how much you put in to the fund

3) increased retirement age

4) THEN they will come after your 401K and take that amount into consideration when determining your SS benefit amount.


Make no mistake, this is inevitable. It's a mathematical certainty at this point considering that NO POLITICIAN has the guts to step up to the camera and say, "You don't put into the system, you don't anything from the system."

Never gonna happen.

I'm packing 12% of my paycheck into my 401K and I'm worried that the goobermint will come after that.


CMOS


Don't forget the Roth IRA's.

My bet is it's only a matter of time before the politicians decide that it's not "fair" that smart, responsible people are cashing out of their "tax free" savings.

Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:56:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:58:40 AM EDT
question, if you was born in 1969 how old must you be before drawing full S.S.?
how old to draw early S.S.?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 5:59:29 AM EDT
And now you know why so many people in the .gov are looking to legalize 30+million mexicans. So they can get the SS tax, and push the edge we are gonna fall off of back another 10 years....

TXL
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:02:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By LvFreeRDie:

Originally Posted By CMOS:
Grab your ankles everyone. When the Dems "fix" SS they will come after YOUR share.

I predict that SS will:

1) become more "need" based (decided of course by the Marxist Libs)

2) reduced benefits for those who "make more" and don't "need" as much regardless of how much you put in to the fund

3) increased retirement age

4) THEN they will come after your 401K and take that amount into consideration when determining your SS benefit amount.


Make no mistake, this is inevitable. It's a mathematical certainty at this point considering that NO POLITICIAN has the guts to step up to the camera and say, "You don't put into the system, you don't anything from the system."

Never gonna happen.

I'm packing 12% of my paycheck into my 401K and I'm worried that the goobermint will come after that.


CMOS


Don't forget the Roth IRA's.

My bet is it's only a matter of time before the politicians decide that it's not "fair" that smart, responsible people are cashing out of their "tax free" savings.





One of my IRA's is a ROTH.


I agree. They WILL come after our money and "redistribute" it to the idiots who didn't do shit to prepare for retirement.

CMOS
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:04:59 AM EDT
What's the stock market going to do when all of those boomers who do have retirement investments start to liquidate their stock holdings for income?



96Ag
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:13:43 AM EDT
If you have not planned for your "retirement" and don't have your insurance, medical and investments lined up - you fail.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:16:15 AM EDT
The system will default by the time I'm ready.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:18:53 AM EDT
The government will release a killer Flu that will be especially hard on the elderly... The old will die off, along with may others, but the country will not go bankrupt...

<­BR>

j/k - kinda scarry thought though...
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:26:16 AM EDT

Make no mistake, this is inevitable. It's a mathematical certainty at this point considering that NO POLITICIAN has the guts to step up to the camera and say, "You don't put into the system, you don't anything from the system."


Built into the system you have pay into it for 40 quarters to get it

linky
Question
How long does a person need to work to become eligible for retirement benefits?
Answer


Everyone born in 1929 or later needs 40 Social Security credits to be eligible for retirement benefits. You can earn up to four credits per year, so you will need at least 10 years to become eligible for retirement benefits.

During your working years, earnings covered by social security are posted to your Social Security record, and you earn credits based on those earnings.

Each year the amount of earnings needed for a credit rises as average earnings levels rise. In 2006, you receive one credit for each $970 of earnings, up to the maximum of four credits per year. For 2007, you receive one credit for each $1,000 of earnings.

If you become disabled or die before age 62, the number of credits needed depends on your age at the time you die or become disabled. A minimum of 6 credits is required regardless of your age. You can file for retirement benefits online.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:26:22 AM EDT
I'm glad I don't pay into Social Security. And my retirement benefit will be better than SS.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:28:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KA3B:
If you have not planned for your "retirement" and don't have your insurance, medical and investments lined up - you fail.




THAT is precisely why this country is going down the shitter - NOBODY will let people fail, and learn - or not.

LET. PEOPLE. FAIL.

They will learn, or cease to exist.

CMOS
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:29:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Boomer:
I'm glad I don't pay into Social Security. And my retirement benefit will be better than SS.



How'd you manage that?


CMOS
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:32:59 AM EDT
Some government entities have their own retirement system in place of SS for their workers.


Originally Posted By CMOS:

Originally Posted By Boomer:
I'm glad I don't pay into Social Security. And my retirement benefit will be better than SS.



How'd you manage that?


CMOS
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:41:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/10/2007 6:42:01 AM EDT by Boomer]

Originally Posted By CMOS:

Originally Posted By Boomer:
I'm glad I don't pay into Social Security. And my retirement benefit will be better than SS.



How'd you manage that?


CMOS


Railroad Retirement. Predates Social Security. And it is solvent for the foreseeable future due to a sizeable portion of the trust fund having been invested in the stock market for the last 6 years. We pay more in than we would to SS, but we get a far higher benefit. It is a federal retirement plan that actually works. My only worry is that it gets raided or merged into Social Security to prop it up and our benefits are reduced to that of SS.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:44:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Boomer:

Originally Posted By CMOS:

Originally Posted By Boomer:
I'm glad I don't pay into Social Security. And my retirement benefit will be better than SS.



How'd you manage that?


CMOS


Railroad Retirement. Predates Social Security. And it is solvent for the foreseeable future due to a sizeable portion of the trust fund having been invested in the stock market for the last 6 years. We pay more in than we would to SS, but we get a far higher benefit. It is a federal retirement plan that actually works. My only worry is that it gets raided or merged into Social Security to prop it up and our benefits are reduced to that of SS.


My dad has the same thing under the old federal retirement system-he's technically "retired" from the Fed, but is now working for the state of Texas long enough to get SS benefits as well, although they will be somewhat reduced in light of his federal annuity.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 6:45:52 AM EDT
For those of you who have paid in and never expect to see any of your hard earned money, keep this thought in mind. There are a very few who truely need that support from SS and other things like SSI. I don't know if you can take comfort in that thought or not, but I've been on SSI and I'm currently waiting to see if they'll approve me for SSDI. Yes, I've worked...paid into the system.... I resent just as much as you all do people able to collect and take advantage of the system, But without SSI or SSDI (I know that is money I've paid in) I would be lost. I've given up trying to work here. Tennessee just isn't as "user friendly" of an employment state for me. So yes...I'm going to take advantage...of the money I paid in, and whatever else I can get. I'm sorry, but that is my reality....and I want it before it's gone, and before I'm to old and broken down to enjoy it.

Link Posted: 10/10/2007 7:07:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Catsclaw:
For those of you who have paid in and never expect to see any of your hard earned money, keep this thought in mind. There are a very few who truely need that support from SS and other things like SSI. I don't know if you can take comfort in that thought or not, but I've been on SSI and I'm currently waiting to see if they'll approve me for SSDI. Yes, I've worked...paid into the system.... I resent just as much as you all do people able to collect and take advantage of the system, But without SSI or SSDI (I know that is money I've paid in) I would be lost. I've given up trying to work here. Tennessee just isn't as "user friendly" of an employment state for me. So yes...I'm going to take advantage...of the money I paid in, and whatever else I can get. I'm sorry, but that is my reality....and I want it before it's gone, and before I'm to old and broken down to enjoy it.



I don't think anyone has a problem with the part in green... a man is entitled to the fruits of his own labor.

Where you cross the line into income-redistribution-land is with the part in red. That whole "get whatever you can" mentality is nothing to be proud of... did you mean it to sound that way, or did you mis-speak?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:30:10 AM EDT
GrayMan...no, I did not mean for that to sound like it did. It just pisses me off what one has to go through to get what they/I earned!!! Can you believe I have to go through a medical exam to PROVE my birth defect is going to prevent me from securing gainful employment!!! I'm sure before they want to pay, they'll want me to go to work at Goodwill or something like that.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:36:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PeteCO:


I support her getting while she can, because letting the gov't hold on to it is equivalent to giving your paycheck to a crackhead.




Thank you Pete. Ya know...I pretty much shot myself in the foot (so to speak) by going to work in the first place. While the crackheads can get all the benefits they can, I went to work!!! Now I have to jump through hoops just to get a little help.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:40:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 96Ag:
What's the stock market going to do when all of those boomers who do have retirement investments start to liquidate their stock holdings for income?



96Ag


It'll be fine. It's all going right back into the stock market one way or another.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:42:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Catsclaw:
For those of you who have paid in and never expect to see any of your hard earned money, keep this thought in mind. There are a very few who truely need that support from SS and other things like SSI. I don't know if you can take comfort in that thought or not, but I've been on SSI and I'm currently waiting to see if they'll approve me for SSDI. Yes, I've worked...paid into the system.... I resent just as much as you all do people able to collect and take advantage of the system, But without SSI or SSDI (I know that is money I've paid in) I would be lost.


Anyone should be free to voluntarily enroll in any insurance programs they like. Just as I should be free to decline to participate in any programs I do not approve of.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:43:22 AM EDT
If you can just get back what you put in, the .gov wins big time, and many never see a dime.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 8:45:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PeteCO:

If she's collecting SSDI then it's disability income. That program exists for a good reason, and I'd wager that most people who collect it have technically put in less than they contributed. That's fine by me, and one of the few government functions I am in support of. While my right-leaning tendency is against abusive welfare programs and "midnight basketball"-esque solutions for social problems, any government run by humans should have a way for a society to pitch in and help people when they need it. (No, I'm not going to get into a philosophical discussion about that)


We've always had such "programs", run by churches or philanthropic entities.

Or are you in favor of the government confiscating one man's wealth to redistribute to someone else whom you feel is "deserving"?
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 9:22:17 AM EDT

The boomer retirements have demographers, actuaries and economists worried as they prepare for an estimated $50 trillion in future obligations over the next 75 years. Social Security will rise from 4% to 6% of the nation's economy. Medicare will go from 3% to 11%.


To put that into perspective… SS is about 20% of the federal budget today, and Medicare is also 20%. So change SS to 30% (4 to 6) and Medicare to 73% (3 to 11)... SS and Medicare will be more than our ENTIRE federal budget today! Actually I guess that's even worse, because the economy will be bigger, so the dollar amount will be even higher.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 10:04:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Catsclaw:
GrayMan...no, I did not mean for that to sound like it did. It just pisses me off what one has to go through to get what they/I earned!!! Can you believe I have to go through a medical exam to PROVE my birth defect is going to prevent me from securing gainful employment!!! I'm sure before they want to pay, they'll want me to go to work at Goodwill or something like that.


I must apologize... I missed the "disability" portion of your post.

I don't have any problem helping out those who literally can't work... nor do I think that idea is in any way anethema to most Americans.

I think most people have the biggest problem with those who won't work.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 10:15:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheGrayMan:


I must apologize... I missed the "disability" portion of your post.

I don't have any problem helping out those who literally can't work... nor do I think that idea is in any way anethema to most Americans.

I think most people have the biggest problem with those who won't work.




It's all good. I usually avoid posting on these kind of threads for the simple fact that I'd rather remain thought of as an idiot instead of typing and proving it. Sometimes I just can't find the words to express what I mean. I agree with you about having a problem with those who WON'T work as well.
Link Posted: 10/10/2007 12:07:03 PM EDT
Not to mention SS gives stupid money to people who don't need it.
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