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Old 04-15-2015, 04:03 AM
 
Location: Durham NC
1,190 posts, read 1,297,786 times
Reputation: 926

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These politicians play games with the SS program all the time. Funny thing is they do not have to pay in to it since they all get fat pensions upon retirement. Have any idea what even a one termer gets in pension and medical?
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:10 AM
 
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,108 posts, read 3,465,006 times
Reputation: 10183
This means-testing Christie proposes is on income only.

What about people who have money stashed away, from savings outside of retirement accounts or from inheritances for example. When they spend these savings by making withdrawals, it is not considered income for tax purposes.

Is Christie's next move to means-test the assets of retirees, as well?? If he's being honest in saying SS should only be there for those who 'need' it, then he has to go after assets, too.

More punishment for those who lived within their means and saved money??
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Old 04-15-2015, 04:16 AM
 
71,651 posts, read 71,801,099 times
Reputation: 49241
all it means is folks would just alter their investments to fit the income requirements.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,288 posts, read 5,497,161 times
Reputation: 4048
Quote:
Originally Posted by SOON2BNSURPRISE View Post
10.6% of income up to $113,000 is paid into the Social Security program, half from the employer and half from the employee. The money is paid out on the spot to those that are allready retired. Up untill 2010 you would have received more from Social Security than you paid in. As of 2010, if you retire today, you will not get what you put into the program.

If I had been allowed to invest my 10.6% of money during my working life, I could have built a very nice retirement for myself and my wife. Placing the money in a 401K or 403B account for the 40 or so working years of my life and I would have built a net worth of maybe $1million to $3million. Place jsut $2,000 a year into a plan and the average over a 40 year time frame would create a net worth of at least $1million. (In fact if you check with your local financial planner you will find that if you were to place just $2,000 a year from age 20 to age 26 and stop investing but let it ride you would have been able to build a net worth of over $1million. That would be your money and not anyone elses.

I say we scrap the system or make it available to those that want to opt out. In fact maybe that is a way we could do it, you get to invest your money but opt out of the "benefit" that they would pay you if you had remained.
The system was set up to prevent the very thing you are proposing--opting out. It won't work without everyone being in.

I'm not a Republican, but I recognize something must be done with social security--and I'm drawing it with a measly 401K for emergencies. Christie deserves credit for bringing it up. His proposal would certainly have to be tweaked, but would be a start toward tilting it back where it should be.

One of the things that just won't work is to cut anyone out of the benefits. The way the program was sold in the thirties is by telling folks everyone would be in, and everyone would collect.

Social security is a bare bones minimum safety standard. You are writing from the viewpoint of a middle class individual. There are far more people who are being paid so little in jobs with no benefits, that they have no money to contribute to a 401k. Social security is it. I do think that the payout can be a pyramid with banded decreased percentage payouts when certain "other income" levels are attained.

The problem in America is we are all pretty self-centered. But to continue doing nothing is going to put an incredibly difficult burden on following generations as all of us baby-boomers retire. I read an essay in a book some fifteen years ago that somewhere around 2020-2025 there would be no way to sustain payouts in social security without printing money which, of course, just reduces its value. The essay stated that both retirees and workers supporting them may be faced with a cut in benefits AND an increase in social security taxes.

The alternative is to have a lot, lot, lot of people running around in their old age without enough cash to buy a stale donut to eat in their cardboard home. Those people frequently end up costing all of us more by pilfering goods or winding up in emergency rooms. So we end up paying one way or another.

It's unlikely I'll ever vote Republican--the only good one imo in the past hundred years was Teddy Roosevelt. That said, Governor Christie was ballsy enough to catch my eye. And while, I may not be voting for him, I think his idea should be seriously engaged by Americans everywhere while there is still time to do so. But the clock is getting pretty close to that twelve o'clock crisis.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:13 AM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,478 posts, read 5,149,433 times
Reputation: 3548
I get very concerned when politicians start talking about means testing. First we are told to save as much as possible in our 401k/403b/Roth etc., so that we are able to not be a burden on society when we retire. Now that many people have started to save significant amounts of current income to fund their own retirement politicians are looking at this money (I know not in this case as they are focusing on other income). I am especially concerned about the discussions of a tax on retirement funds to pay for the ACA. It makes no sense to tax someone for being frugal and responsible for their own future so that others that have not saved any money for retirement receive benefits for free or a significantly reduced cost.

I am supportive of SS and Medicare and would like to see the ACA reformed to include a Medicare for all provision accompanied by private supplemental plans as options. The income cap on the SS payroll tax should be lifted. Life expectancy is not increasing commensurate with Christie's proposal. As others have said, raising SS to 69 gives the average person about 10 years in retirement before they pass. Additionally, it changes the whole profile of the workforce reducing the number of entry positions and putting pressure on the wage structure for existing ones as small percentage increases for long term employees near retirement age can be significant dollar increases for those at the beginning of the salary scale.
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Central Maine
4,687 posts, read 5,538,476 times
Reputation: 4966
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancers View Post
These politicians play games with the SS program all the time. Funny thing is they do not have to pay in to it since they all get fat pensions upon retirement. Have any idea what even a one termer gets in pension and medical?
If by "these politicians" you mean Members of Congress, you're wrong on both Social Security and fat pensions.

The Federal government changed its retirement system in 1984. All new Federal workers hired after that (including Members of Congress as well as the President and Vice-President) were placed in the new system, one based on contributions to Social Security, a type of 401k plan (called Thrift Savings), and a much smaller pension. Members of Congress have contributed to Social Security over the last 30+ years.

Members of Congress must complete five years of Federal service and be at least 62 years of age to qualify for retirement. A one-term Congressman (serving one 2-year term) is not eligible for any federal retirement. A one-term Senator (serving one 6-year term) is eligible, but the pension is very small.

For health care, prior to 2014 Members of Congress were eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan. Starting last year, Members of Congress were ineligible for this coverage, and were compelled to seek health care insurance from the health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. Under neither FEHB nor ACA is health insurance free for Members of Congress.

snopes.com: Congressional Pensions

Congressional Pensions Update
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:50 AM
 
4,484 posts, read 4,745,031 times
Reputation: 9941
I highly doubt he would be elected President. I used to like him but now he just looks and acts like a street corner bully.
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:30 AM
 
Location: USA
6,226 posts, read 5,363,628 times
Reputation: 10643
Like all politicians this guy lives in his own little ivory tower and has no idea what it's like to actually work for a living. Having never been independently wealthy I will require SS considerably when I retire.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:03 AM
 
2,296 posts, read 1,562,467 times
Reputation: 2737
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
all it means is folks would just alter their investments to fit the income requirements.
True, but some folks who have put in 35-40 years in the public sector can receive pensions (which they contribute a fair amount to by the way) of 80k. So any of their deferred compensation equities or equities purchased in taxable accounts, for example, when withdrawn would put them over the 80k. And, yes, they are doing ok financially, but mostly because of their own doing and saving so why punish them....

Or just give them back every penny they put in SS. Even at 2% interest on that, they'd be getting back their full social security projected amount if no phase-out existed. Crazy ideas not thought out. Maybe he lost some brain cells along with the supposed weight loss.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:27 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
2,172 posts, read 2,085,035 times
Reputation: 2599
Quote:
Originally Posted by dothetwist View Post
This means-testing Christie proposes is on income only.

What about people who have money stashed away, from savings outside of retirement accounts or from inheritances for example. When they spend these savings by making withdrawals, it is not considered income for tax purposes.

Is Christie's next move to means-test the assets of retirees, as well?? If he's being honest in saying SS should only be there for those who 'need' it, then he has to go after assets, too.

More punishment for those who lived within their means and saved money??
I interpret his proposal to already address the level of retirement savings that a retiree has. It does that through the income test. Income would include pensions, IRA/401k and distributions, and interest, dividends and capital gains from after tax investment accounts. All of these items are reported as income on your 1040.

I agree that something needs to be done to ensure SS is around for a while. It's a disgrace that all of our supposed representatives have been asleep on this issue. Both sides of the aisle share the blame for letting this fester, and unfortunately the longer they wait the more drastic the solution will have to be.

I don't like Christie's proposal because it doesn't address the impact it would have on people who are already retired, or very close to retirement. People who have worked their entire career paying into SS and have now spent their human capital based on the belief that SS would provide a benefit to them. Even people that have pensions and savings are counting on income from SS, which still can be a significant percentage of their income. I think any proposal to reform benefits should include provisions for phasing in those changes over time to allow people to prepare for the change.

Dave
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