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Old 10-17-2007, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,227 posts, read 47,656,129 times
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Good news for senior citizens: The federal government says Social Security payments will go up 2.3% in January.

Social Security checks get bigger, so do tax bills for 12 million workers - On Deadline - USATODAY.com (http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/10/social-security.html - broken link)
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,716 posts, read 49,511,045 times
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I would have assumed that it goes up every year.

My pension does.
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:01 PM
 
Location: WA
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SS does go up with inflation but it can change as the program is modified by Congress and there is talk of changing what increases are based upon.

‘Under the current wage indexed benefit formula, initial benefits to successive cohorts of retirees grow along with wages, so that replacement rates (the fraction of lifetime earnings replaced by Social Security) remain roughly constant. Under price indexing, initial benefits would instead grow with prices so that real benefits, rather than replacement rates, would be held constant. Because wages generally grow more quickly than prices, a shift to price indexing would result in a slower rate of benefit growth.’
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Old 10-18-2007, 09:20 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,192,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John1960 View Post
Good news for senior citizens: The federal government says Social Security payments will go up 2.3% in January.

Social Security checks get bigger, so do tax bills for 12 million workers - On Deadline - USATODAY.com (http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2007/10/social-security.html - broken link)
The increase is quite small compared to the past Cost-of-Living Adjustments
(I think you can gauge how bad inflation was in the 70s and early 80s by the size of the increases. I remember those years quite well. People worrying about the economy today have no idea how bad it was back then )

Also, the COLA increase this year is offset by the fact that Medicare Part B premiums increased last year - from *$78.20 to $88.50/month. Still cheap compared to private insurance, but if all you have to live on is SS then that's a sizable chunk out of the average SS payout ($1002/month).

*sources: various SS sites and Kiplinger Business Report
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Old 10-19-2007, 05:45 AM
 
7,099 posts, read 24,518,274 times
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our medicare drug plan premium also went up $7.00 per month and the deductable increased.

But Hey!! every little bit helps!
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:03 AM
 
414 posts, read 1,470,457 times
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SS was initiated at a time when average life expectancy was much lower than it is today. People weren't expected to live long enough to tap into it. Our longevity has increased tremendously. The system was never meant to support non-working people for twenty or thirty years. Increasing the retirement age does no good when employers refuse to hire older workers. So, we're stuck with the present system with will be fair to some and very unfair to others.
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Old 10-19-2007, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,716 posts, read 49,511,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleenh54 View Post
SS was initiated at a time when average life expectancy was much lower than it is today. People weren't expected to live long enough to tap into it. Our longevity has increased tremendously. The system was never meant to support non-working people for twenty or thirty years. Increasing the retirement age does no good when employers refuse to hire older workers. So, we're stuck with the present system with will be fair to some and very unfair to others.
The SS system was never meant to support non-working people.

The SS system was never meant to provide ready access funds so that congress could build: inter-state freeways, social programs, bridges.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:04 PM
 
Location: WA
5,398 posts, read 21,420,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleenh54 View Post
SS was initiated at a time when average life expectancy was much lower than it is today. People weren't expected to live long enough to tap into it. Our longevity has increased tremendously. The system was never meant to support non-working people for twenty or thirty years. Increasing the retirement age does no good when employers refuse to hire older workers. So, we're stuck with the present system with will be fair to some and very unfair to others.
Right! The system was conceived in an age where the average person worked from 18 to 65, retired and died a few years later. Now the average person starts later and ends earlier, maybe 23 - 59, and then lives for another 25 years. The simplest part of the system no longer holds.

And then there are now expanded benefits covering disabilities and family members some of whom never contributed.

Finally there is the demographic problem where we are faced with a large change in the ratio of workers contributing compared to people drawing benefits.

But with all that you will find that the SS program is sound financially when compared to the Medicare program. Federal entitlement programs will require a major overhaul to last many more years.
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Old 10-19-2007, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,827,553 times
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Social Security financial integrity was discussed extensively in Politics and Other Controversies. Bottom line is that it is sufficiently funded to pay all anticipated benefits through 2041, perhaps later too. Fixing program for longer term might involve some changes, but that wouldn't be a discussion for this forum.

Social Security was supposed to be part of retirement income, not the whole thing. But, sometimes plan go awry.
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Old 10-21-2007, 02:43 PM
 
414 posts, read 1,470,457 times
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NewtoCA, you're correct in that this is a political issue but it is also a retirement issue in that many people who would like to continue working are prevented from doing so from prejudices in the workplace. Eventually employers will have to be persuaded to hire older workers and retain the ones they have. Until that is addressed, we may as well whistle in the wind.
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