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Old 09-04-2011, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,877 posts, read 25,302,878 times
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If the affluent rich don't want SS, they don't have to apply.

But they earned it just like the rest of us.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,213,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
I doubt if eliminating early retirement (currently allowed at age 62) would save any money in the long run. Since there is a penalty (reduced benefits for life) for early retirement, and since the amount of the penalty is actuarially calculated to be a wash for both the retiree (provided the retiree's longevity is "average") and for the Social Security system, there would be no net long-term savings.
According to the social security actuarial office, it depends. Eliminating eligibility for early retirement would be insufficient without a concurrent increase in the normal retirement age. Nevertheless, I found another study that pointed out the increase in award for disability benefits (that would flow from the elimination of eligibility for early retirement) would also increase the number of persons eligible for Medicare (who would otherwise not be eligible until they reached age 65).
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
4,948 posts, read 7,872,287 times
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In my town, the people with the nicest houses, cars, and lifestlyes are the affluent elderly. Yes, they worked hard for it, most of them anyway, during the years in this country when dedicated, long-term hard working employees were seen as assets to a company, and rewarded with nice pensions and retirement packages. Things also cost a lot less then, and they were able to save for the future. There are the nicest cars parked in the handicapped parking spots!

The other part of the population in our town that doesn't seem to be a bit concerned about the current state of things, is those on disability checks and welfare. The rest of us are scared to death about how we are going to make in in our "golden years".
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,213,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post
I have several thoughts on this.

The first is - government officials imposed the moniker "entitlement" on a collective of programs, part of which (Social Security) should be called something else - such as an "investiture" - and part wh/ are best described as "welfare assistance" such as monthly subsistence checks, food stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and HUD rental vouchers. It became politically incorrect to label "welfare assistance" programs what they were/are; and even tho there was an attempt to "disguise" what they are, eventually all such programs were put under the "entitlement" umbrella, along with Social Security.

SS benefits have ALWAYS been referred to as entitlements. Why? Because the benefits were meant to help retired workers and their families avoid poverty. It is a government insurance program, not a private pension. Thus, it meets the definition of "entitlement."

Politicians would do well to insist that these programs be called what they are, especially when discussing an overall "cut to entitlements." I think few of us would argue that some programs, such as HUD rent subsidies wh/ can be transformed into mortgage payments are outrageous, and simply a matter of transferring wealth and creating net worth for someone who does not make enough money to even pay rent. If they did, they wouldn't need a voucher! If a person doesn't have the money to make a downpayment on a home and has to use a voucher that relies on taxpayer funds as their mortgage payment, then why the hell should that person hold title to property??? It is past absurd! Vouchers should be available to only 2 classes; the infirm and the elderly. Period. Let's see how many billions that would save taxpayers, for starters.

This is certainly out of left field. If your premise is that the savings incurred from the elimination of HUD vouchers to the poor will make Social Security "whole", I'd like to see the data.

But back to entitlements. I find it very interesting that politicians and gubment bureaucrats are so quick to refer to statistics, yet there is one aspect of those stats they never mention!

Yes, folks are living longer, meaning they receive SS checks over more years. And altho that article states the net worth of 1/5 of seniors would be what they have deemed as "affluent" . . . a supposition about net worth wil include the value of homes - and we all know - what we THINK we could sell our homes for (and in most cases, these days, their TAX VALUE if that is the figure being used) may be very different than what we could actually SELL our houses for. So that figure used in the article seems VERY suspect to me.

No doubt the housing crisis has impacted folks of all ages.

In addition, the article points out how many years the average person is gonna live after 65, but it does not state the obvious: how about the many folks who DO NOT live that long? Or the people who die BEFORE they even start receiving Social Security? What happened to the money they put into the system? IT IS STILL THERE.

Huh? Then who the heck is paying benefits to the really old timers? Y'know, the ones who live longer than the "average" person ?

It is a clear attempt to skewer the figures not to include that information in this equation and I have cried FOUL for years on this.

So my belief is . . . if we are gonna have a discussion in this country (we meaning "Politicians and Gubment Bureaucrats) then how about getting honest about the facts surrounding it?
I agree that we need to get honest about the facts. You first.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:09 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,135,316 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lenora View Post
I agree that we need to get honest about the facts. You first.
Did you even read what I wrote or just decide to put some statements amidst my comments? LOL

First of all, I didn't say SS had been called anything else. HELLO. I said it SHOULD BE REFERRED TO AS SOMETHING ELSE OTHER THAN AN ENTITLEMENT to separate it from the other programs that are referred to as entitlements.

It would make it necessary for politicians and bureaucrats to have to distinguish exactly WHAT they are talking about when they throw the term "entitlements" around.

As far as my statement about HUD vouchers, you absolutely didn't read what I wrote! I made no statement at all that eliminating HUD vouchers would balance the budget. In fact, what I referred to was HUD VOUCHERS WHICH ARE BEING USED AS PAYMENT FOR MORTGAGES. (Maybe you didn't even know that program exists? Most folks don't!) I clearly distinguished what vouchers I was referring to and explained why I felt these should not even EXIST.

You really need to understand what it is you are debating b/f getting in someone's face, Lenora. Dang.

And yes . . . that article the OP referenced only gives part of the picture - and since it is basically a regurgitation of the political-speak going on in DC these days, we need to be given all the statistics (and actual $$ amounts) not just the ones wh/ politicians find it convenient to use to further their own agenda.
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Old 09-04-2011, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,534 posts, read 43,962,244 times
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All this talk about eliminating early retirement presupposes people will be allowed to keep their jobs into their late 60s/early 70s. Ain't happening now and for sure won't happen in the future. I would have worked to 70/72. My employer of 26 years laid me off at 67.5 with a severance agreement absolving them of any age discrimination. An additional drain on the system today besides the baby boomers are the huge numbers of laid-off unemployed FORCED to apply early for reduced Social Security benefits.

All this talk of raising the retirement age so people work longer is fantasy. Employers always find a way to rid themselves of the older, more expensive employee. Govt. would have to legislate no layoffs for anyone within ten years of retirement.
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:36 PM
 
Location: NJ
24,103 posts, read 30,219,984 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
All this talk about eliminating early retirement presupposes people will be allowed to keep their jobs into their late 60s/early 70s. Ain't happening now and for sure won't happen in the future. I would have worked to 70/72. My employer of 26 years laid me off at 67.5 with a severance agreement absolving them of any age discrimination. An additional drain on the system today besides the baby boomers are the huge numbers of laid-off unemployed FORCED to apply early for reduced Social Security benefits.

All this talk of raising the retirement age so people work longer is fantasy. Employers always find a way to rid themselves of the older, more expensive employee. Govt. would have to legislate no layoffs for anyone within ten years of retirement.
they need to stop referring to the age you can start collecting social security benefits as "the retirement age." you can retire whenever you like. the age to collect social security needs to be raised in order to keep in operating (and/or make other changes). dont like it? save more.
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:51 PM
 
9,181 posts, read 9,263,338 times
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Quote:
If the affluent rich don't want SS, they don't have to apply.

But they earned it just like the rest of us.

On its surface this sounds like a reasonable statement. Analyze it a bit and it isn't nearly as reasonable. Most people who are 65 right now will take considerably more out of Medicare and Social Security than they ever put into it. Even if you give them a reasonable rate of interest on the money the math doesn't work.

One way to react to this is to say "By golly the government made me a promise! (although no one has ever shown me the written version of that promise) I don't care if I put in $100,000 in FICA. I want $250,000 in social security benefits. As far as Medicare goes, I don't care if my end-of-life care costs $300,000 and I only paid $75, 000. Give me the care!"

Another way to react to this is to be a mature adult. When it comes to discussing issues of Social Security and Medicare, I've sadly learned there are millions of Seniors who think like a twelve year old child. A responsible adult would realize that 2 + 2 doesn't equal 10. All the whining and complaining in the world isn't going to change that simple fact.

In a country where private retirement and health insurance becomes ever-less-certain, I believe its critical for the well being of Americans now (and in the future) to have a defined benefit pension plan and some kind of health insurance they can count on. Social Security and Medicare aren't perfect, but they have met the needs of millions for decades.

Fixing these problems is going to require some sacrifice. No repair will satisfy all groups in this country. However, I will bet my rear end that the consequences of not fixing these systems will create more of a social upheaval than doing nothing because some group perceives it as "unfair".

Finally, who here is so determined to enforce their idea of "morality" that they will permit Seniors to die out in the street or for want of medical care because they made the wrong choices? Have we gone so far downhill as a country and a society that this is no longer a concern to us?

Last edited by markg91359; 09-04-2011 at 07:00 PM..
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: NJ
24,103 posts, read 30,219,984 times
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we are trained to believe we earned it but really earning it has little to do with the equation. if we had a 401k style plan where everyone had their own accounts that they could watch and grow, you would have a better case. but all you really have is a tax on working people that is transferred to the elderly. there is an expectation of future benefits from all of us, but there is no actual guarantee.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:57 PM
 
Location: in my mind
4,753 posts, read 6,523,192 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
One way to react to this is to say "By golly the government made me a promise! (although no one has ever shown me the written version of that promise) I don't care if I put in $100,000 in FICA. I want $250,000 in social security benefits. As far as Medicare goes, I don't care if my end-of-life care costs $300,000 and I only paid $75, 000. Give me the care!"
I think this is a very important point in this discussion.

This blog author writes about the fact that 30% of Medicare spending is done during the last year of life:


"One statistic that hasnít changed in a long time is that about 30% of all Medicare dollars is spent in the last year of life (detailed here, for example). Thatís a lot of money. By and large, the health care provider default position, in the absence of any wishes expressed otherwise, includes hospital end of life technology, at least to some extent. Is it necessary? Are we making ethical decisions as to who gets treated and who doesnít where that kind of money is spent on end of life?"

I believe that we, as a society, need to start thinking more critically about issues like this - how much money should we be spending for various types of health interventions. For those of you interested, I would recommend reading his blog entry in its entirety- its quite thought-provoking.

Here is another example, related to the costs of treating cancer:

ScienceDaily - How Much is Life Worth? The $440 Billion Question

From the article:

According to Fojo and Grady, in the U.S., 18 weeks of cetuximab treatment for non-small cell lung cancer, which was found to extend life by 1.2 months, costs an average of $80,000, which translates into an expenditure of $800,000 to prolong the life of one patient by 1 year. At this rate, it would cost $440 billion annually, an amount 100 times NCI's budget, to extend the lives of 550,000 Americans who die of cancer annually by 1 year.


I find myself wondering, what percentage of people, as they get older, will fall into the camp of wanting every medical intervention possible to prolong their life, as opposed to those who don't want to go down that path. I imagine that now that the concepts of living wills and advanced health care directives are much more widely understood, it is possible that more people are giving thought to such issues. Or at least I hope so.
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