Social Security Crisis?

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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby barfle » Thu Mar 24, 2005 1:23 pm

Well, the reform of Social Security won't affect me, or my non-existent grandchildren, either, but without some sort of changes, the Ponzi scheme that's been going on for about 80 years is going to cave in and all that will be left is a heck of a lot of people with a heck of a lot less of their own money.

Is this the best way to do it? IMNSHO, no. The best way would be to stop "contributions" today for everyone, sell off enough government assets to fulfill the existing obligations, and encourage everyone to plan their own retirement.

In order for me to have a decent retirement, I took a job on the opposite side of the country. I was already saving and investing fairly heavily, and now I'm able to do even more. While retirement seems a long ways away (eight or nine years), I can expect a decent standard of living because of the sacrifices I've made.

If there had been no Social Security, my choices may well have been different. Certainly, it is part of my plan, because it does exist and operating as though it did not would be pretty darn silly.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby freshstarz » Wed May 04, 2005 11:57 pm

have to admit... I took the weasel way out of Social Security. As a dual canadian/american citizen, I decided to move to Canada (after spending my entire life in the states) to get started on their social security... and to take advantage of medical insurance... Of course, the last election also helped the decision....

Hopefully the U.S. can get it right some day - so what little I have in Social Security, will still be available to me. who knows.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby OperaTenor » Thu May 05, 2005 12:52 am

Hi Barfle,

What you propose is certainly better for individual Americans than what GWB proposes(I pondered why we didn't do that earlier in the thread).

At least it's gratifying to see that Americans are becoming increasingly disillusioned with GWB's spew on the subject, even in spite of the careful screening of attendees to his rallies.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby Trumpetmaster » Thu May 05, 2005 4:55 am

Quote from Barfle
"and encourage everyone to plan their own retirement."

Barfle,
From the time I was a teenager my dad encouraged me to save and invest (wisely) for my retirement.

I have another 10-15 years before I start thinking about retiring. I have always looked at Social Security that would be extra spending money when I'm retired as my grandparents relied fully on SS and it wasn't enough.

I urge the younger generation to start saving now, if their company has a 401K plan that is pre-tax, start doing payroll deductions. If you have your own business there is a plan you can invest in, just forgot the name of it.

Just my 2cents.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu May 05, 2005 8:37 am

"What you propose is certainly better for individual Americans than what GWB proposes (I pondered why we didn't do that earlier in the thread)."

Dismantling the SS is a good thing but changing it isn't?

Man, talk about a reverse!

And why is it better? I have provided examples of plans similar to GWB's proposal and all have perform better - in some cases MUCH better - than the existing plan.

I mention long ago that the only way the Dems have suggested "fixing" it is to:

1. Raise taxes, or
2. Reduce benefits

And, yes, I realized that as currently envisioned setting up the private accounts will not FIX the plan by itself.

But Bush has said he is open to what ever will fix it other than raising taxes and reducing the basic benefit. Why is that a bad thing?

I personally think he made a bad move by suggesting a sliding scale of payments. That brings up visions of "means testing" in my mind, a scheme that has been tried before and that has always failed since it presupposes that all people are honest - not a smart assumption.

Or is some of the resistant to his plans from the Left is simply this.

“I hate GWB so bad that I will resist anything he proposes, regardless of the possible benefit to the country or my family because of that hatred”

I’m starting to reluctantly believe that hatred of GWB has more to do with it than any disagreements during reasonable discourse.

And I can discuss this from the same lofty unaffected viewpoint as Barfle. I'm getting mine regardless what happens

<small>[ 05-05-2005, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: Haggis@wk ]</small>
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu May 05, 2005 8:44 am

Freshstarz,

"Of course, the last election also helped the decision...."

just curious. Did you move to Canada before or after the election?
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu May 05, 2005 11:06 am

Heh

<img src="http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/cartoons/05-05-2005.gif" alt=" - " />

<small>[ 05-05-2005, 12:07 PM: Message edited by: Haggis@wk ]</small>
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby barfle » Thu May 05, 2005 11:07 am

Originally posted by OperaTenor:
Hi Barfle,

What you propose is certainly better for individual Americans than what GWB proposes(I pondered why we didn't do that earlier in the thread).
Actually, it's not really my proposal. I got it from Harry Browne when he was the Libertarian candidate for President.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby barfle » Thu May 05, 2005 11:22 am

Originally posted by TrumpetMaster:
Quote from Barfle
"and encourage everyone to plan their own retirement."

Barfle,
From the time I was a teenager my dad encouraged me to save and invest (wisely) for my retirement.
I unexpectedly started saving for my retirement when I bought a house in Orange County in 1975. It turned out to be a bang-up investment, and I'm still building on the equity that place started.

A few years before that, I was working for Hughes Aircraft, in my early 20s, and I got a retirement fund statement that noted my expected retirement date was 10/01/12 - over 40 years away. I wasn't in the "saving for retirement" mode at the time, but that date might as well have been another century in the future.

Originally posted by TrumpetMaster:
I have another 10-15 years before I start thinking about retiring. I have always looked at Social Security that would be extra spending money when I'm retired as my grandparents relied fully on SS and it wasn't enough.

I urge the younger generation to start saving now, if their company has a 401K plan that is pre-tax, start doing payroll deductions. If you have your own business there is a plan you can invest in, just forgot the name of it.

Just my 2cents.
I probably started actively saving for retirement in my late 30s. My mortgage payments weren't draining me dry, and I really didn't have major expenses to worry about. Of course, I lost it all when I decided to give self-employment a go, but at least I had acquired the discipline of not spending your entire paycheck THIS WEEK, so building it back up wasn't all that much of a burden.

It's quite amazing how much money you can amass if you just keep on putting a reasonable amount every paycheck into an interest-bearing account. It doesn't even have to be all that good a rate (although a good one helps).
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby OperaTenor » Thu May 05, 2005 12:02 pm

Hi Haggis,

I can't find where I posted it(spent 1/2 hour searching), but I did previously state that eliminating SS entirely was better than what GWB proposes.

Did you ever read the report? It speaks for itself if you read it.

And now I hear GWB has not only admitted his proposal does nothing to address the future insolvency of SS, but he has now come out and stated that it looks like reductions in benefits will be needed after all.

Wait! I found it:

"OperaTenor
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posted March 11, 2005 04:36 PM

You're right, it's not a constitutional mandate. HOWEVER, I'd rather the system was abolished than what they propose to do. At least I'd be in control of risking my money on my own, not being forced to hand it over to someone else to put at risk."


The other point is if there is no risk reduction vs. the stock market, why let my money pass through the hands of not only gov't bureaucrats, but private investors, involuntarily, with no say-so on my part as to its disposition?

<small>[ 05-05-2005, 04:32 PM: Message edited by: OperaTenor ]</small>
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby piqaboo » Thu May 05, 2005 1:53 pm

originally posted by h@wDismantling the SS is a good thing but changing it isn't?
Its not that ANY change is better than dismantling it, its that the privatization/personal accounts AS PROPOSED is not better.

We all should have started saving for retirement in our early 20's. The magic of compounding is incredible. Saving $100/mo from 20-25 years old, and stopping, kicks butt compared to saving same amount at same rate from 30-60.
Bummer. Does spending literally every penny I had to buy realestate (a condo) count as investing? Or gambling? Or stupid? I can answer this - from 1993-2000, it looked a lot like REALLY stupid!
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby dai bread » Thu May 05, 2005 4:37 pm

As Mark Twain said, buy land. They've stopped making it.

The best investment I ever made was to buy this house in 1972. It cost me $20 500; it's now worth about $750 000. No other investment even looked like matching that return, and the proceeds when I sell will be all tax-free. Mind you, I'll have to move out of town to buy another place.

Officials say they wonder why we NZers buy real estate and not company shares.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby piqaboo » Thu May 05, 2005 8:18 pm

Thats the bummer about realestate investing. Sell the place you got for a great profit, yes, but then can you afford to move into another place?

Locally, its a real challenge.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby barfle » Wed May 11, 2005 7:42 am

An article in today's Washington Examiner (generally politically conservative editorials) stated that property values where I live went up 24% last year, with the price of an "average" home going from $421,65 in 2k4 to $521,306 this year. :eek: I don't really know where my house fits in this curve, but it seems pretty close to average, perhaps a bit above, but not a lot.

Other counties showed up to 34% change in home pricing in one year. So again, I can't afford to buy my own house. And paying the property taxes...Yikes! I'm really glad I had my equity from my house in Orange County when we bought here. Honestly, I don't know where the entry level buyers are going to go.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby OperaTenor » Wed May 11, 2005 9:59 am

The entry level buyers are getting into "interest only" loans with no down payment. To me, that's a scarier proposition than balloon payment loans. My first wife had a condo with balloon financing, which we ended up selling before the balloon payment was due because we couldn't refi.

Don't those rises in property values seem like they're climbing too high too fast?

If the bottom ever drops out(and it will), there will be a lot of foreclosures, and people on the street.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby Haggis@wk » Tue May 31, 2005 3:14 pm

Poll results depend a lot on how you ask the question. The latest Zogby Poll finds that 52% of Americans supported Social Security reform, including private accounts, when they were told that private accounts could generate a higher rate of return than Social Security.

Here is the Zogby's key comment:

"The thing that is compelling in this poll is that this is the response you get when you use a positive approach on Social Security reform," Mr. Zogby said. "If you use the 'Chicken Little, sky-is-falling' approach, then voters understand that something has to be done, but don't see the connection between personal accounts and fundamental reform of Social Security."

Among supporters, the most popular reason for supporting private accounts was,

"It's my money; I should control it,"

Zogby said

"This was true for every group except African-Americans, who chose inheritability as their biggest reason for supporting accounts."

The poll's results suggested that Mr. Bush's proposal would be much more popular if he focused "on the points in this poll," Mr. Zogby said in an interview. "Nobody can understand or relate to the system's insolvency in 2043. But it wins a majority when the issue is raised as a matter of choice and as a positive opportunity," he said. "If it's pitted as just Social Security reform because it is becoming insolvent, that's not enough."

It's no secret that I am generally suspicious of Zogby's polls, especially leading up to the presidential elections, so I can't personally evaluate this one. However, if true, maybe conventional wisdom re: SS reform is not as conventional as previously reported.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby OperaTenor » Tue May 31, 2005 3:25 pm

If people want to control their own money, the best solution is to abolish the SS system and return the money paid into it.

There is no good reason to implement the system modeled in the report, unless you want to hand Wall Street a bunch of taxpayer money to fool around with and burn some in administrative costs in the process.

Read the report. It speaks eloquently for itself as a total loser for the American public.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby Haggis@wk » Wed Jun 01, 2005 8:39 am

"If people want to control their own money, the best solution is to abolish the SS system and return the money paid into it."

All right!!! we finally agree!! I never knew you were a closet Libertarian.


That report is no more considered a guiding document that PNAC is considered to be an originator of national policy.
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby OperaTenor » Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:50 am

Ha! Gotcha! :p

I don't advocate that solution. All I'm saying is if people want to control their own money, that is the most logical solution.

If that report isn't their guiding document, what is? This was a presidential commission, given guidlines by GWB. It's got the presidential seal[of approval].

[snark] Or is that just your excuse for not reading it? [/snark]
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Re: Social Security Crisis?

Postby Shapley » Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:07 am

OT,

re: [snark]

What does that vessel have to do with anything?

V/R
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