Social Security?

I got a mailing from the Social Security Administration about the huge benefit I’m entitled to when I turn 62. My payout would be $1,108 per month. Anyone want to place some bets on how likely I will be to ever see that figure?

It would seem to me that either I’m going to get that amount, only inflation will be so bad that it will really be like $20 now, or, I just flat out won’t see that kind of benefit.

The letter in the notice from the commissioner even says that at the current level of benefits they won’t have enough funds to pay full benefits, after 2041. Of course, that is assuming that they had a trust fund, which they really don’t.

What they have is a bunch of IOUs from Uncle Sam. If our “leaders” had been halfway intelligent they could have learned how to live on a simple budget (yeah right) and socked that money away, instead of using it every year and issuing IOUs for the future. Now, when they have to tap the trust fund, what they really mean is that the Treasury will have to either cover the additional costs in the yearly budget, or issue more debt.

Sounds like a good plan

From reading through it, given my feeling on the future of social security, I would be better off to figure out a way to become disabled so I could claim my $1,787 per month in benefits now rather than wait for the uncertain future.

Heck, according to the $3,245 benefit my family would be eligible for if I died I think they would be better off if I was dead than alive. Hang on, let me do the math…carry the five..OK, well not really, but it’s pretty close. They certainly wouldn’t eat as well.

Now, how should I go about getting myself disabled?


7 responses to “Social Security?

  1. You said: “It would seem to me that either I’m going to get that amount, only inflation will be so bad that it will really be like $20 now, or, I just flat out won’t see that kind of benefit.”

    The bad news is that it’ll actually be $20 per month, but with inflation that’ll be like $0.02. 😦

    Did you see that article about how a cup of tea in Zimbabwe now costs Z$204 million? The author said not long ago Z$204 million would have bought you a profitable gold mine… then a nice house… then a car… and now a whole wad of Z$10 million notes only amounts to a cuppa…

  2. i’ve known our gov’t was full of it for quite a while now, but when i saw bear stearns drop from $148/share to $2/share in less than 4 days, i realized just how full of it the financial induztry is too. i ain’t no $ whiz but seeing that sort of implosion caught my eye. i think if bizness and then by default the gov’t is based on growth, growth, growth to keep everything going, we’re liable to see SS and all its cousins evaporate as resource depletion and energy descent take hold.

    I’d like to see a poll of Americans under 40 asking how many think SS will be a thing of the past by time they retire. I won’t take your bet Matt but I’ll offer another. How much would you like to bet the SS implosion will happen long before most baby boomers get theirs? I’m not sure how to feel about that.

    I’m just curious to see what will take the current system’s place.

  3. I’m not “under 40”, but not far over it, either. I don’t believe for one second that any of the money my husband or I have paid into social security will be there when I’m old enough to collect it. I definitely don’t think that my children will benefit from the social security. In fact, what I’m afraid of is that our social security will actually be used to pay the debt this country owes all of the places we’ve been borrowing from for years.

    As to what will replace it … family. I think we’ll see a lot more people taking care of their elderly relatives, because there’s no other choice.

  4. Hey, they may not have our money when we get to be that age, but at least we’re paying something like 50billion a year to rebuild Iraq while they are sitting on more than that each year in oil revenue.

  5. Why does everyone focus solely on the Social Security benefit? It is, even at best, just a part of the plan. It was once referred to as the third leg of the stool but, on reflection, might be the fourth leg of a chair.

    Consider your savings, your health, and your debt as the other legs. What you amass before retirement will dictate how much of that SS benefit you will need. The better your health is when you get to retirement, the more likely you will be able to afford to retire and better yet, NOT be disabled when you do. And how much of your current debt picture do you plan on hauling into your golden years is incredibly important and almost always goes unmentioned. If you are fifty, shouldn’t you be questioning the wisdom of a 30-year mortgage, not counting taxes, insurance and upkeep?

    SS will be there and for many, it will be the icing on a rather dull and possibly difficult life. Focus on the whole chair. Not just a single leg.

  6. the only country in the world that looks at the books sees we’re deep in the red, and lowers our income and increases expenses…duuuurrr!

    We need to get our freakin priorities straight.

    Or we could just keep handing over our money to robber barons and let “the market” or rather the monopolists fix (as in price fixing) all our problems.

  7. Paul–Social Security is a focus because it is a huge bullseye that shows how screwed up the priorities of this country are. And how messed up the politicians and most citizens are.

    Anybody with half a brain would know that a retirement/social care program like that should not be something that can be tapped to fund general expenditures, but our government did that. They sold all of us down the river to have low taxes now.

    You are much more optimistic than any of the people I know. I don’t know anyone under 35 who expects to ever see a dime from Social Security when they retire. That is good because it forces these people to save more now than to wait until later, which is good because savings at a young age is better than savings at an older age.

    As for me? I think you’ll start seeing serious cracks in our social safety nets around 2015. It may not be a huge problem then, but taxes will have to go up which will cause even more of a burden on our younger generation. The younger generations will have to pay for the massive low tax debt fueled orgy that our government has been party to for that past 30-40 years.

    Combine all that with energy supply problems, food prices which I still think will be high and possible unemployment and things could be ugly. You have to wonder where the necessary tax revenue will come from. It could mean possible benefit cuts. Depends which generation of voters is running things at that time.

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