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Community Work & Retirement
05-01-2017 12:16 PM
Look into the "Extra Help" benefit with Medicare. Depending on your income (mine wwas less than $800) you can qualify to get your Part D premiums paid for and a BIG reduction on your drug costs. Mine are $3.30 for generic and I think, $8.00 for brand names. I got a refund check on a generic that was costing me $104.30. Now it is $3.30!!! Easy to apply, do it online and hear back in less than a month. It is retroactive to time you applied, so hence, the refund. Recycled to medical bills but very welcomed boost.
03-10-2017 09:09 PM
Yep, you are right, kleino, we are just flat broke - but what do numbers matter? !?
We could have a real lockbox for an account for each person that has ever paid a nickel into the SS system with all the numbers of contributions and any earnings but if there is no money anywhere to back it up -'is it really there at all?
In 2016, we collected ( in millions)
we collected from payroll tax contributions . . . . . . . . . 836, 178
we collected from taxes on benefits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32, 817
we collected from net interest on spec. Treasuries . . . . 88, 356
we collected from Gen. Fund reimbursements . . . . . . . . . . 102
Total income going into SS in 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .957, 453
In 2016, we paid out (in millions )
We paid out in benefits paid during 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . 911, 384
we transferred to the railroad retirement . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4, 663
we paid out in administrative cost . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6, 229
Total Expenses coming out of SS in 2016 . . . . . . . . . . . 922, 276
So that everybody understands your comment about it paying out more than it is taking in, as the SS Actuaries talk about it, this means that payroll tax contributions do not fully cover the benefits being paid out. Now we are relying upon the other income coming into the program yearly to make up the difference and add a very small amount to the Trust Fund reserve. We use to buy these special treasuries for excessive income into the program to earn interest, but now we have to use this income from these treasuries to meet the benefits.
But again you are right, these are only numbers in a specific account when in reality the U.S. Is surviving off debt. Let's just hope the creditors don't come to collect.
03-10-2017 06:53 PM
You say "paying benefits has taken over just about all of the current collections, so we aren't socking away enough to cover those who are retiring at the current baby boomer rate of 10,000 a day."
This is accurate and in fact, social security has been cash negative since 2011. For some reason (laziness?) people form opinions while taking no time to get the facts. And the facts are, as you state:
The federal government has taken the cash from the social security fund and replaced it with Treasury Securities. However, if Social Security is cash negative (pays out more than it takes in) and the US Government as a whole is cash negative (i.e. budget deficits year after year), my pencil cannot figure where the cash will come from to redeem the Treasury securities. Perhaps we will borrow more from the Chinese, if they are willing to lend.
Larry Klein CPA,retired
03-06-2017 08:33 PM
02-20-2017 08:48 AM - edited 02-20-2017 08:57 AM
After Trump " takes " Iraq's Oil , maybe he will put the profits into our S.S. War Chest !!!
01-28-2017 10:45 AM
Social Security has been robbed by governments and replaced by IOUs. I believe the government owes 1 trillion. Why are we in a bind.
All Social Security funds NOT used to pay current benefits are placed in special treasuries and are paid interest by the government (us) until they have to be used to pay benefits.
That's one of the problems - paying benefits has taken over just about all of the current collections, so we aren't socking away enough to cover those who are retiring at the current baby boomer rate of 10,000 a day.
Social Security benefits have always been paid by those currently working.
But once we had about 16 people working for each person receiving Social Security benefits - now it is down to, I think, about three and is now on its way down to two, then maybe one. Automation is taking its tole here.
01-27-2017 01:50 PM
12-14-2016 07:08 PM
You inherently argue for privatization so we could all invest our money in the S&P 500 or however we want. I couldn't agree more and don't know why people are so adamant about the poor return they get under the current scenario.
12-14-2016 04:24 PM
The proper way to figure if Social Security is a good deal or not is to take the money they put in, plus the money their employer put in, and now comes the hard part. Look at the S&P500 and look at the average growth during those years. Now it gets really complicated since you and your employer put money into the SS fund each month so you are really compounding the amounts along with the S&P500 growth. Anyone doing the detail math will find out soon that they are getting shortchanged by the Government and in reality this is a transfer of wealth to others and NOT an entitlement program (like welfare).
If you neglect the growth of your money, then it looks like the Government is GIVING you a generous amount.
12-14-2016 04:06 PM
My concern is that people don't understand it, espouse lies and fallacies and think that someone has stolen their money. I hate to tell these folks that they live in a fantasy but the facts do matter:
1. no one has stolen their money
2. the average retiree gets payments that FAR EXCEED what they put in - so in fact, Social Security IS an entitlement program. If you have been collecting social security more than 5 years, your payments are likely funded out of the checks of your children and grandchildren, NOT money you put in
3. The ONLY way to make Social Security better is to take MORE MONEY out of the checks of your children and grandchildren as you quickly exhaust the money you have contributed (usually within 5 years of receiving benefits).
Money does not come out of nowhere. Someone pays it and it is the younger generations supporting the SS system.
This post will anger some people as they would rather hold on to their beliefs and fantasies rather than accept the facts. Note that all of these facts can be verified by reading the Social Security Annual Trustee Report. Additionally, I show you my Social Security Benefit Statement and explain what it really means.
I realized in my 30s that Social Security, as constructed, would not be available when I reached full retirement age. Those who are now collecting should be VERY grateful for the entitlement and never ever complain. This is the 6th year that Social Security will be cash negative (pays out more than it takes in).
Please, if you do not know the facts, please do not reply with opinions or misperceptions. I have been a CPA for 40 years and have an MBA from a top school so I am very good at math, interpreting the facts and staying clear of opinions not supported by facts.
I am not stating that recipients should not get more or that the Social WSecuity is good or bad. I am making no judgements but merely explaining what is true.
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