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Social Security

Posted by rosalynd (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 28, 06 at 10:30

Okay...here goes. I am going to sound like a crazy person...and I know it but I'll say it anyway.

I am going to get a lawyer and sue the federal government for all my previous social security deposits and becom exempt from paying in anymore.

There I said it....that's all.

Then I am going to be in control of my retirement. Between that money and my own 401k savings and other stock investments I will be the reaon that I sink or swim when I am 65.

The present state of affairs with the SSA is not looking so good. As it stands there will be no money for me in 35 years. My money will be gone. They keep saying it will be fixed but nothing happens.

Would anyone like to join me in my crazy lawsuit.....people can sue to have the pledge of allegience taken out of schools, and b/c they BOUGHT a cup of coffee and burned themselves. Why can't I sue to get the money that I earn everyday if I think I can do a better job at securing my financial future after retirement?

I can't wait to see some of your responses...


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Social Security

if it were a winnable case, i would join you in a heart beat. i pay more in SS than i do in federal taxes. i could put that same money into a good retirement fund and be set for life. i could probably even retire early!


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RE: Social Security

Trouble is, as SS has changed over the years, it has become not so much a government-held personal account as a tax on workers so that the government can keep paying SS benefits to those now receiving them.

My personal belief is that no politician is going to touch this issue as long as it can be deferred to the next set of officeholders, and that so many Boomers are so much in debt that they won't have two quarters to rub together in their retirement so they will have to receive SS or go on welfare. I just don't see you winning this one.


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RE: Social Security

Winnable, probably not, but it would make a point, that's for sure!

I'm in a Public Employees Retirement System. Used to be sterling, now it's been attacked so many times. Naturally I'm mid career. I figure I'll have to work till I'm 72. DH thinks I'm crazy, but I told him my plan...I will be earning about 7 weeks a year in vacation time by then. I'll have to take at least 4 weeks annually, or lose the time. So...since I have a cushy job, I can work, take off lots of time every year for vacation/travel, STILL get my paycheck, medical insurance, retirement accrual, etc.

Then IF SS is still in place, I collect full benefits, Medicare, my PERS and IRA funds. House will be free and clear (I actually plan to have moved to a nice condo by then anyway, who needs yard work?!) and I'm set. This is my plan anyway..haha.


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RE: Social Security

Canada Pension Plan, a mandatory contributory system, began in 1966.

My Dad, 65 then, reportedly had considered retiring from farming then, but was in good health and delayed his retirement till he was 70, contributing to the natioinal pension system for about 5 years (mandatory to stop contributing at 70).

Can claim a benefit any time between 60 and 70, 1% penalty for each 2 mos. prior to 65, or increment after 65.

Dad chortled on occasion, saying after age about 80 (I think) that he'd drawn more from C.P.P. than he'd contributed.

He drove 2,000 mi. in three days, by himself, at 85, to visit old friends: several days later, drove out in front of a truck on a multi-lane highway.

They've been saying for several years that C.P.P. was in trouble, as it was not actuarially sound. They weren't investing your savings to pay you later, but were partly paying current beneficiaries from current income.

For years they had a surplus, but it's being whittled away as the number of retirees increases and the number of workers, especially the full-time ones and those earning higher salaries, decreases.

A while ago they increased the contribution levels and they are to continue to escalate for a while.

They claim that it'll become viable - but a number of Canadians are sceptical.

We have another pension system, called Old Age Security, that many years ago was only available to those with very limited income.

Dad, being a productive, proud, middle class person, said many years ago that he would never ask for it.

Quite a few years ago they began to pay it to every person (with years-of-residence restrictions) beginning at age 65.

Dad never made any complaint about accepting it.

But some of my parishioners, who'd never had kids, never visited Toronto (100 miles away), wouldn't accept it.

Actually, they had no need of it, as they, former farmers who'd lived frugally and were renting out their land, were comfortably situated and had no kids to whom to leave their assets when their need was over.

They got mad at me when I (their clergyperson) said that if they didn't have need of it, I could show them a dozen situations where there were people who were in need and could use it effectively.

This system is not contributory, a government "gift" to the aged, so to speak, and they have acted to reduce the level of that pension for beneficiaries whose annual income is over about $55,000., elimiating it altogether at around $95,000., I think (not a circumstance that affected me, shall we say).

Many young and middle-aged people are concerned that they'll gain little benefit from either of those systems - and the Canada Pension Plan, with its mandatory contribution system, annoys them: they are required to pay in, but they have the opinion that when it comes time for them to benefit - the well will be (almost) dry.

Haven't heard much suggestion of privatization, up here.

Good wishes for success in developing a viable plan for the various aspects of your retirement.

Sure is nice to have good health in retirement, with more than enough income to live on (so far, anyway).

I've said to many over the years that if they gave me 10% of their income, I'd have tem retire early. Meaning that if they followed my suggestions, and learned how to manage their money more effectively, themselves.

No one cares about our money as much as you - not even I, though I charged by the hour for my time and had no financial benefit that depended upon what stuff, or how much much of the limited number of stuff that I might have been able to sell, that they decided to use. For, during most of those years, I didn't sell any.

ole joyful


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RE: Social Security

I'm 48 and I'm not counting on SS for retirement. However in my case, I figure we help fund the SS that our parents receive(d). And in my mother's case, that was about all she had to live on. I also received SS benefits in HS and college because my dad died when I was in high school. I also received SS disability benefits when I was diagnosed with recurrent cancer when I was 25 and unable to work for a couple years. So I don't think it's all bad. However it's been very poorly managed with serious lack of forethought necessary to plan for the larger population of aging people living longer and longer. Of course most anything managed by the government is poorly managed since there are no competitive market forces in place to ensure optimal efficiency.


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RE: Social Security

rosalynd, please post the case number and jurisdiction once you file your case. I would love to follow along. You will certainly need Social Security once the lawyers get through with you.


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RE: Social Security

"a government-held personal account"

Never was. SS has always been a 'pay as you go' system.
The problem is folks thinking it was a pension plan, instead of a fallback welfare plan.


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RE: Social Security

rosalyn-
Have you ever computed how much you put into Social Security? Most people get back what they've paid in during the first 2-3 years of collecting benefits. Now I know you don't think you'll get anything, but if you want to lose even more, sue the government over this issue. You'll be about as successful as those people who claim there is no lega requirement to pay income taxes.

My advice to you is to invest whatever money you would spend on a lawsuit. You'll get a much higher return.


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RE: Social Security

"a government-held personal account"

Never was. SS has always been a 'pay as you go' system.

Exactly my point. However, somehow folks have gotten the idea (perhaps since the level of disbursement is tied loosely to the level of contribution) that SS is a savings account. You can't ask for "your" money back because it never has been set aside for you.


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RE: Social Security

What annoys me is that the politicians and media always refer to SS as an 'elderly' issue. It's NOT!!! It's a young person's issue. Those who are currently elderly are set. Those who have a couple decades till retirement are screwed. There will be no SS, and there will probably be no savings either--having been taxed out of an extra 15% of income all those years, how many lower and middle class people can aafford to put away money?

Of course, they could fix it easily. Tax ALL wages and bonuses, not just those below 90K. So the CEOs who earn 25 million have to pay 15% of all of it. And, obviously, quit spending the surpluses on pork barrel politics.

Neither of those htings will happen, of course. So everyone who's younger than the baby boomers is out of luck.


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RE: Social Security

To kudzu9,
I actually wasn't planning on spending any of my own money on a lawyer....it would attract a lot of attention and it's my intention to find someone to pick it up on a "pro bono" basis.

My whole point is that I'm 30 years old and SS is so over extended that by the time I retire all the money that I put in for over 50 years will be gone. So hopefully I'll be able to save enough for my own retirement. I'll be paying for my parents SS and once the baby boomers all retire SS is going to be basically bankcrupt. But hey, the rich get richer.

Also housenewbie, I agree that all the CEO's and big money makers should be paying there 15% and they shouldn't get all these tax breaks either but I guess we'll save that for a whole other thread!!!


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RE: Social Security

rosalynd,

SS is a "pay as you go system". That means that the money taken out of your paycheck every week is spent to fund THOSE ALREADY RECEIVING SS checks every month. You seem to be operating under the misinformed belief that whatever money you are presently required to pay into the system is somehow being earmarked for YOU at a future point in time. It's not.

When you retire and are eligible to collect SS benefits it will the younger working population's tax contributions that will fund your checks. And there's the rub... there is a large population "bubble" of retirees hitting 62-65 and that means a LOSS of people contributing weekly and an increase in the number of people withdrawing benefits!

SS was originally set up as an INSURANCE policy against a catastrophe like the Great Deperssion; never was it ever intended to solely fund someone's retirement. But over the years, a large segement of the population has presumed just that. It was designed to be part of a "three legged stool"... SS, pensions from worker's companies, and personal SAVINGS. Additionally, the age of retirement set at the inception of the system (65, I believe) was actually beyond the average age of death of most Americans. My parents withdrew every dime they'd contributed to the system within 18 months of receiving their first check! Mum is now nearly 80, so she's been on the dole for nigh on 15 years now.

Roll forward to 2006... companies are defaulting on defined pension plans, the age of retirement has been increased only a bit (is many years below the average age of death; about 15 years for me!), and the average American doesn't SAVE a dime. The IRA was introduced to stimulate retirement savings... the contribution one may make has increased from $2K at its inception to nearly $4500 now. Additionally, they've sweetened the pot for lower earners by permitting you to pay taxes "up front" (presumably when you are earning less and paying less), allowing the nut to grow and compound TAX-FREE until you decide to withdraw funds from it. In light of the loss of company pension plans this is a nice deal... but only for the disciplined.

Taken in total, this is an impending disaster. The "cures" are not going to be popular, but they are necessary. Let's hope more politians find the stomach to stand up and state "the emperor isn't wearing any clothes". Payroll taxes will HAVE to go up. The retirement age MUST be raised to more closely reflect increased life spans, and (I believe) we will have to means test. The very wealthy will have to say good bye to their "cut" for the greater good. After all, that's how an INSURANCE policy works, more people with "safe" histories pay to cover the losses of unluckier policy holders.

This isn't something for the courts, this is something for the voting booth.


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RE: Social Security

rosalyn-
I'll be interested to see if you can find any lawyer who would tackle this one on a pro bono basis. I do agree with you that the SocSec system is a mess, but, you know, I'd rather see my money going into this than funding many of the other things that tax dollars are spent on...like unnecessary wars...


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RE: Social Security

rosalynd,

If you can pull it off - you'll find thousands (millions?) who'll join you in a class action suit, I'm certain.

You can bet they'll keep you running back to court again and again - (forever?)!

But - then, should you happen to win (probably when you're old and gray) ...

... what'll you do with the money?

Can you manage it effectively?

Better start learning now!

Heck - that's a good idea, in any case.

Good wishes to you and yours.

o j


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