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Old 11-09-2008, 02:21 AM
 
706 posts, read 1,168,642 times
Reputation: 438

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Social Security is a great plan when conceived but has never been changed to reflect the reality of the day. People are living too long !! That's great, but the system needs to be adjusted. Also the stagnation of wages in the middle class has cut revenues at the same time expenditures will rise dramatically. Hate to say it because I am near to the retirement, but the age needs to be adjusted up to reflect reality. This creates another problem because if people stay in the workforce longer, not enough new job openings.
Nothings easy !!
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Sarasota Florida
1,236 posts, read 3,607,670 times
Reputation: 1230
Default simple answer

There is too much to read on this topic....... I have a short attention span but my answer to the question stated is simply this:

They are in bad shape financially because they do not live within their means.


Whatever happened to the old-fashioned idea of -- learning a skill / working hard for years / living within your means / saving for the future / enjoying the results of financial responsibility
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,680 posts, read 49,437,227 times
Reputation: 19129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConeyIsBabe View Post
There is too much to read on this topic....... I have a short attention span but my answer to the question stated is simply this:

They are in bad shape financially because they do not live within their means.


Whatever happened to the old-fashioned idea of -- learning a skill / working hard for years / living within your means / saving for the future / enjoying the results of financial responsibility
People would rather spend more than they make.

And even listening to the 'experts' they are told to go gamble their money on the stock market.
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Old 11-09-2008, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,177 posts, read 2,915,436 times
Reputation: 5851
I was one of the lucky ones in life. I had two very good and very practical parents. We grew up in a middle class neighborhood and we always lived within..or below..our means. My parents taught me to work hard, save, delay buying until I had saved up for something, to live without envy of the rich but with a little fear of being poor.

I grew up clinging to those values and they have served me well all of my adult life. Although I am not what I would consider "wealthy", I do not need to put my hand out to the government for help, I dont have to rely on my children for my welfare, etc. The key to financial well being, in my opinion, is to live within your means, pay mostly cash and consider using credit only when you can pay it off in the shortest time possible. I am happy to say that I believe my children have adopted these same life rules and I think it will serve them well.
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:06 PM
 
29,775 posts, read 34,860,277 times
Reputation: 11705
It is not just a function of decision making it is also a function of local cost of living costs. Many areas of the country have above average incomes and above average living costs. When you retire the cost of your goods and services don't decrease. You may be able to eliminate some but the cost of what you do consume will remain the same. However if your income decreases in retirement you have a problem. During the housing boom house and related expenses skyrocted while salaries for the middle class didn't. That forced people to find creative ways to increase their purchasing power, thus putting them in debt. That's one of the reasons why so many found it more affordable to retire from the North East to more reasonable cost areas in the south etc.
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:53 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,236 posts, read 18,510,875 times
Reputation: 17765
It is also true that the cut-off point for SS taxes remains artificially low so that I would pay the same amount as Donald Trump on an annual basis. I recall reading that moving the top cut-off figure up from $97,000 would solve a lot of the problems. I wonder why they just do not do this.
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Old 11-09-2008, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,680 posts, read 49,437,227 times
Reputation: 19129
Quote:
Originally Posted by TuborgP View Post
It is not just a function of decision making it is also a function of local cost of living costs. Many areas of the country have above average incomes and above average living costs. When you retire the cost of your goods and services don't decrease. You may be able to eliminate some but the cost of what you do consume will remain the same. However if your income decreases in retirement you have a problem. During the housing boom house and related expenses skyrocted while salaries for the middle class didn't. That forced people to find creative ways to increase their purchasing power, thus putting them in debt. That's one of the reasons why so many found it more affordable to retire from the North East to more reasonable cost areas in the south etc.
I disagree.

When I retired my cost-of-living did go down.

I moved to a low-cost / low-tax area, I have more time on my hands and I do more that I had been paying others to do for me.

Our consumption has gone down a great deal with retirement.
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Old 11-09-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: WA
5,394 posts, read 21,390,738 times
Reputation: 5892
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancy thereader View Post
It is also true that the cut-off point for SS taxes remains artificially low so that I would pay the same amount as Donald Trump on an annual basis. I recall reading that moving the top cut-off figure up from $97,000 would solve a lot of the problems. I wonder why they just do not do this.
In 2008 SS taxes are paid up to $102,000 and in 2009 they are paid on $106,800. (the $97K max was last year).
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:31 AM
 
13,319 posts, read 25,554,182 times
Reputation: 20505
I see no reason for the existing cap on Soc. Sec. taxes (and with overtime, I've hit the cap a couple of times).
I'd ask Warren Buffet why he pays less tax than his secretary, as he's said, and how to address this.
By the way, in recent years (and in the near future) many people have had long periods of unemployment and have run through whatever home equity or savings or retirement savings they had responsibily accumulated and are starting over in the 40s or 50s or later. No SUVs/big TVs among them- just raging unemployment (one after the New Orleans flood, one a layoff in his 50s with a disabled wife). It happens. Not everyone is running around living beyond means, and sometimes those high credit card debts are the last gasp of using credit cards to buy necessities. I know there are the wastrel people that we all read about, but there are very many of the other folks, too.
Maybe it makes people feel safer to assume that anyone in trouble has created their own situation, therefore "I wouldn't do that, therefore I'm not in trouble." Not my favorite part of human nature, but it's there.
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Old 11-10-2008, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Texas
43,552 posts, read 52,647,623 times
Reputation: 70801
Because most Americans don't understand the concept of

DELAYED GRATIFICATION.
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