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Old 05-18-2012, 02:10 PM   #1
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Social Security Changes

From various news reports the Social Security system is in deep trouble and the potential is there for the system to completely run out of money within the next 20 years. Many of us are either already on Social Security or will be drawing in the not too distant future.

In an effort to save the System, would you be in favor of changes to Social Security, even if it reduced your benefits?
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
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If the goverment would quit borrowing money from our account and also make every politican go on Social Security we wouldn't have a problem with it. Obama just took 500billion of it to go toward Obamacare. But if they lower the amount a little to keep it going is better than nothing at all.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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The data I have seen seems to indicate that the system will go dry before 20 years.

Your question is a little like asking ,as you travel a deserted highway at night, if you should stop and pay for gas when the "Low Fuel" light comes on or wait until the vehicle jerks to a stop alongside the road 20 miles later. Both decisions have consequences....but which one makes more sense? Do we pay a little now, or do we run out completely later? IMHO, the problem is too many folks these days only live for "today" and don't seem to think too much about the "later". Unfortunately, our kids and grandkids ARE the "later".....and that's where they are going to be. And do we REALLY want them to be out of gas on a dark road 20 miles past the last gas station? Surely that can't be the answer....just my thoughts.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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I know it is a very complicated topic, but really, HOW do you get elected officials to buckle down and make the tough decisions that are going to have to be made and make them before it is too late? IF they would address the situation now and start addressing the problem there is no reason anyone's current benefits would have to be cut. That would require some more funding, some changes in benefits for future retirees(with long enough lead time for them to make alternative plans) including upping the retirement age again. In our area there SEEMS to be quite a bit of fraud with people learning how to scam the government out of a full disability retirement when there are strong and healthy, that might be a good place to start, a crack down on the waste and fraud in the system. Likely to be a bigger problem, in my opinion is the medicare and other health costs skyrocketing with no end in sight. Well, if anyone can find a plan AND a way to get it implemented, I will certainly be interested in it. All just my opinion and 2 cents.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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First off, I'm really not interested, and I don't think the moderators are, about pointing fingers at one politician or even all politicians. My question is based on there are sacrifices that must be made. Are we willing to make those sacrifices?
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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Sacrifices should not come from the average tax payer. It is about time the clowns (both parties) in DC do the job they were elected to do. They need to cut government waste, stop sending money overseas to countries that do not like the USA, and cut their retirement/benifit plans first.

So lets see the leaders make real sacrifices first....you know - lead by example.

Ken
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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I would like having an option to be enrolled in social security or not. With all the different retirement plans available I would like to opt out of dumping a good amount of my pay into a failing system that most likely won't be around when I am eligible. I know my money I pay now goes into paying others currently on the program but, I would rather not partake in that.
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Old 05-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #8
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I've been retired for 12 years now and am still a few years away from SS (early or full). I will be taking the early option which is good for me but not so good for the system. I do think we need to take SS back to it's roots which was to help the elderly from living in utter poverty. After all when first instituted the plan was for most people to die before they collected one dime. Now many are receiving SS for 10,20,30+ years collecting far more than the system can support. It was not meant as a way for the middle/upper class to pay for their golf course membership, pay for vacations, or be the first line item in a retirement plan. My wife was a hospice nurse and saw first hand that many people desperately need SS. She and I have seen many that could afford to take a reduced payment.

So yes changes to SS should be on the table (and not a ping pong table with politicians playing the game).
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #9
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In case you haven't noticed, the current retirees (and no, that doesn't include me) are already bearing an unfair burden. In order to recapitalize the banks, the Federal Reserve has effectively set the interbank interest rate at almost 0% and has announced its intention to hold this rate through 2013. This means that those who have played by the rules, been prudent and saved for their retirement with the anticipation that interest income would fund a respectable portion of their needs are already being worked over - interest income hardly exists!!

Now we're proposing turning around and sawing off another leg of their retirement stool - Social Security income. Sorry, but I don't buy penalizing those who have worked hard and tried to do the right things for all of their working years to subsidize those standing around with their hands out. It isn't fair to them to change the rules in the 4th quarter of the game when they have no realistic means of compensating for the change as a current worker does.

JM2CW....Flame suit on.

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Old 05-18-2012, 03:12 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by wildtoad View Post
I've been retired for 12 years now and am still a few years away from SS (early or full). I will be taking the early option which is good for me but not so good for the system. I do think we need to take SS back to it's roots which was to help the elderly from living in utter poverty. After all when first instituted the plan was for most people to die before they collected one dime. Now many are receiving SS for 10,20,30+ years collecting far more than the system can support. It was not meant as a way for the middle/upper class to pay for their golf course membership, pay for vacations, or be the first line item in a retirement plan. My wife was a hospice nurse and saw first hand that many people desperately need SS. She and I have seen many that could afford to take a reduced payment.

So yes changes to SS should be on the table (and not a ping pong table with politicians playing the game).

Tom, would you be in favor of a decrease in SS payments starting at an income of $150,000 and a total elimination of benefits once someone reaches $250,000 in income? I think that may be one way to help reduce the burden somewhat. The obvious one is to increase the retirement age which is probably way overdue. I don't think it is unreasonable for many people to work until they are 70. That's what I plan on doing.

Disability payments have got to become more strict. I have one client who started getting SS disability because he got too fat to work. Now he's too fat to work a job, but he's healthy enough to hook up a fifth wheel and drive to Florida and back every winter.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:27 PM   #11
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Taxman, I agree with your last post and yes something has to be done. I guess I was pointing fingers at ALL politicians and parties because it will not be fixed unless and until they get on board. I am not sure either party has the stomach to stand up and tell Americans what has to be done until after it already has happened and the program collapses under its own weight. I know they stole the money that belonged in the system and many other errors were made along the way but that is water under the bridge. We now have to find a way to shore it up and put it back on its feet and I suspect the final answer is a combination of a lot of things including higher rates, later retirement age, graduated scale of eligibility with upper income getting less and less and finally cutting off and maybe other elements that we have not even explored to date. Nice topic and good healthy discussion.
ps-- I am 67 and planning on letting mine build til I get to 70 also Taxman.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:30 PM   #12
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Tom, would you be in favor of a decrease in SS payments starting at an income of $150,000 and a total elimination of benefits once someone reaches $250,000 in income? I think that may be one way to help reduce the burden somewhat. The obvious one is to increase the retirement age which is probably way overdue. I don't think it is unreasonable for many people to work until they are 70. That's what I plan on doing.

Disability payments have got to become more strict. I have one client who started getting SS disability because he got too fat to work. Now he's too fat to work a job, but he's healthy enough to hook up a fifth wheel and drive to Florida and back every winter.
Don't know what the levels should be, but if the question is should SS be means tested? Then my answer is yes. As part of the discussion the full retirement age for SS should be reviewed. People are healthier, living longer, more able to support themselves longer and all of these should be discussed and evaluated in any long term plan for SS.

I also think that a serious look at the funding plan for SS should be looked into especially regarding the current cap. I would favor eliminating the cap on income subject to SS tax IF they also looked at reducing the rate. Reduce it from the 14%+ (combined) down to a more reasonable amount and apply it to all income or a graduated rate based on levels. I doubt seriously if Payton Manning (as an example) would care/miss if we taxed his total income above the $120k(+/-) max at say 3%.

Just a thought...
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:27 PM   #13
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No sacrifices need be made, we just need to tax everyone at the same rate for social security. Right now there is a cap on social security tax payments at 120,000$. Anything made above 120,000$ is not taxed at all. Who does that favor? The richest folks. I don't mind Mitt making 38 million dollars last year. Good for him! What I do mind is that he doesn't pay any social security tax after the first 120,000$ of income. We also need to pass bills that require the same sacrifices from our elected officials no matter what party they belong to, as they demand of us. Since they get retirement and health care for life paid by all tax payers, cutting social security affects them not at all.

Mitt paid less then 15% income tax last year on 38 million income. I paid almost 30% on 80,000$ and you ask why there is a problem?!? Everyone needs to be held to the same tax standard. Now, I'm not picking on Mitt or the repuplican party but as long as these injustices are true in todays tax laws the poor will pay way more then the rich for everything amd make the backbreaking sacrifices.
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Old 05-18-2012, 04:31 PM   #14
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We need to not pay SS to people that have never worked and never will. (unless they can't) Too many freeloaders.
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