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Old 01-30-2017, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,751,136 times
Reputation: 32309

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShadow View Post
"It depends" is the answer. Your payout is based upon the average of your highest paying 40 quarters. If your pay from work performed after your FRA is higher than some of your earlier qualifying quarters, then that will bring the average up by replacing those low paying quarters with higher paying ones. If your last few quarters paid less than all your qualifying quarters, than it will not affect it at all. They won't replace a quarter that had a salary with a the zero salary quarter, or a lower salary quarter, so it doesn't bring down the average.

The best way to understand all this is to use the SS calculator and put in your own numbers (from last year's statement) and plug in some numbers for those future years, see what it says.
Oops! Quite a mis-statement there, or perhaps just a typo with one omitted digit. A minimum of 40 quarters is what is needed for collecting Social Security retirement benefits. However, your payout is based on the average of your highest paying 35 years of earnings. That would be 140 quarters.
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Old 01-30-2017, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,935 posts, read 14,249,679 times
Reputation: 16113
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graywhiskers View Post
There is no valid reason the middle class should bear the entire burden of subsidizing the social security of the working poor. The middle class share the burden with the wealthy for all the other programs you mention. There is no reason the burden should not be shared by the wealthy for welfare that is paid through social security. This can be done by eliminating the income cap; or by directly injecting revenue from the general fund into Social Security.
You want to avoid paying benefits out of the General Fund, because that increases the federal debt.

I'm not opposed to raising the Income Cap, I'm simply saying that 1) it will only generate an extra $130 Billion in revenues annually; 2) that's not enough to "save" Social Security, so the FICA Payroll Tax will still have to be increased; and 3) there'll be some negative economic consequences for doing that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
The reality is, most Americans think of SS as a retirement plan, not as insurance. And that is largely true - the only insurance out of the SSA is SSDI. But Social Security itself, which we all expect to get somewhere between 62 and 70, looks just like an annuity. You pay into it your entire working life and then when you retire it pays you a guaranteed amount every month for as long as you live.

You know what they say, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it must be a duck. SS certainly looks a lot more like an annuity to Americans than it looks like insurance. And the Social Security Administration does nothing to dispel that belief - they remind you that it is an entitlement by sending out retirement pay-out estimates every year!
That's due to poor education.

Based on the law, Social Security is insurance, and it should be treated as such. For that reason, I'm not opposed to means-testing, since you're actually filing a claim for insurance benefits.
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Old 01-30-2017, 01:47 PM
 
71,706 posts, read 71,829,507 times
Reputation: 49273
i bet the effects of additional means testing would kick in after the point you would be effected by it lol
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
6,423 posts, read 4,184,634 times
Reputation: 5716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Oops! Quite a mis-statement there, or perhaps just a typo with one omitted digit. A minimum of 40 quarters is what is needed for collecting Social Security retirement benefits. However, your payout is based on the average of your highest paying 35 years of earnings. That would be 140 quarters.
And, the OP only mentioned the 20 years he maxed out the cut off for SS taxes. If he made very little for the other 15 years or less that he has worked, that would explain the low benefit amount.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Ohio
19,935 posts, read 14,249,679 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
i bet the effects of additional means testing would kick in after the point you would be effected by it lol
Social Security at age 65, plus 60% VA Disability and about $30,000 to $50,000 in cash will be my only retirement benefit. I'm kind of lazy being semi-retired and not a very good saver, but I don't mind, since my retirement will be quite nice in spite of a lack of money.

If it would be up to me, I'd peg means-testing at 5x federal poverty level reduces benefits by 50% scaling upwards to 100% for 10x poverty level and then eliminate the tax on Social Security benefits.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:48 PM
 
71,706 posts, read 71,829,507 times
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folks would just find ways of getting around the means testing rather than pay a lifetime in to ss and get nothing or near nothing . so far means testing has been pretty poor because it disregards roths .

owing taxes on money or not should have zero to do with income counting for means testing purposes . it really is a silly structure right now . taxes due or not should be separate from any means tests .

right now you can avoid taxes on roths , pay less medicare premiums , get aca subsidy's etc all from a roth which really should only escape being taxed itself and nothing else . even the money in roths should have to come out like traditional money oin rmd's , only not be taxed .

just like traditional's have all future gains taxed on rmd's so should anything in the future on roths after 70-1/2 .

there is just to much roths escape in reality that have nothing to do with the separate issue of just the fact you prepaid the taxes
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Old 01-30-2017, 05:17 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,252 posts, read 6,351,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
And, the OP only mentioned the 20 years he maxed out the cut off for SS taxes. If he made very little for the other 15 years or less that he has worked, that would explain the low benefit amount.
It's not low amount. The amount he mentioned is for 62, not FRA and not 70. $1900 is what one would expect at 62.
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,620 posts, read 1,633,852 times
Reputation: 6140
Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlantaNative1968 View Post
Proportionally, yes, I agree. But those numbers do not make sense. It is grossly disproportionate for someone making $16K a year (at his peak earning years...significantly less most of his life) to make only slightly less in returns from someone making $100K+ for 2 decades and not significantly less before that.


And my view of what it is could be wrong...but it should not be as you state. Otherwise, why would there be ANY difference in anyone's returns? If it was this communal pool and everyone just got a hunk of it, then it would be an even socialist pie that did not fluctuate at all based on income. Clearly, income does have something to do with the formula, correct?


IMO, it should be privatized and be more akin to municipal or treasury bond fund. And regardless of what you say it is supposed to be, millions of elderly do people live on it 100%. Modern savings vehicles like 401Ks are a relatively recent invention. Before those existed, most people had either pensions or SS at retirement. The lucky had both, but you know good and well that millions depended solely on SS.
Don't forget that it's based on average earnings. So working from middle school on is going to hurt me in this regard.

And if you think that's bad, wait until an investigation (that will never get done) is performed to show people who've brought their aged parents from overseas. They get benefits too, because we're a kindly generous nation apparently.
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,221,259 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by artillery77 View Post
Don't forget that it's based on average earnings. So working from middle school on is going to hurt me in this regard.

And if you think that's bad, wait until an investigation (that will never get done) is performed to show people who've brought their aged parents from overseas. They get benefits too, because we're a kindly generous nation apparently.
Huh? Your earnings for the highest 35 years of your working career will include the years you were in middle school? That's sad. Maybe you should go back to school?
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Old 01-30-2017, 07:30 PM
 
7 posts, read 3,439 times
Reputation: 10
atlanta native, I am in a similar situation as you, except I am 8 years older. The numbers you see will be different when you get into your 60s. Will be somewhat more. Still, I get what you're saying. I thought the same myself. I'm only getting around 700 more myself, at 63. I am retired, but have not filed for SS yet. Waiting for it to grow more. Meantime, I got my pension, annunity and investment income. Another thing to factor in is inflation. Your Dad and Mom have gotten a lot of COLA increases over their SS income years. I inagine you will too, so in your 80's it will be a bigger spread between you and your Mom. Maybe SS is a good deal, or maybe it's not. I don't know. No way of knowing. But, I paid for it, so I want to get it. Don't like those polititians that say we need to cut benefits, means testing. If you pay for a product, you should get it. Period.
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