Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I probably shouldn't be so bitter

I got that Social Security statement this year from the states that you get every few years. It's an update of how much you've paid into the system and how much you can expect to get upon retirement. Depending on when I choose to "receive benefits", I can expect from $550 to $970 per month. And this is assuming I never work in the states again. That seemed like a lot until I saw that until the year 2000, I had already contributed fifty thousand dollars to the system. And I've still got 25-30 years before it's benefit time. They would have to be very bad investors AND I would have to live longer than anyone ever in my family for them to lose money on this deal.

Oh, and then right there in bold print, they say this:

*Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2041 (I'll be dead 76) the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 74 percent of scheduled benefits.

Maybe if they hadn't robbed the gobs of money in the SS fund and truly invested it and treated it like an asset to grow, we wouldn't be "predicting" the shortfall. Now I can't help wondering what if the Iraq war trillions had been used to shore up SS ? I would certainly have felt better about taking care of old Americans who had worked and paid into a system all their lives than seizing control of an oil rich country and slaughtering thousands of its citizens.

But then again, maybe I'm over simplifying things.

23 comments:

Snooze said...

I'm not sure why you insist on over simplifying things so that they make sense. You know that's not how government works.

Ed said...

By the time 2041 gets here, S.S. benefits will be the least of our worries. Maybe we should invest in the stock market Mr. Bush lets start with your savings!

Kevin said...

Oh don't worry. ALL of that money will be gone by the time you need it.

Patricia said...

i pretty much count on it not being here when i retire. i try to think of my "donations" to the social security system as paying my mom's rent. she lives on social security and i choose to remain in enough denial as to think that my money goes directly to her. otherwise, i lose my mind.

Polt said...

You're not over simplifying anything. Its the government here that oversimplifies complex issues, into a 15 second sound bite, and the stupid public laps it up like thursty dogs.

I outta just move to Canada too...things make more sense there...

St. Dickeybird said...

It's the same up here with the Canadian Pension Plan. I really resent paying into it because "They" promised it to retirees. It won't be around when I'm ready to retire.

And like Snooze said, quit using your common sense - it doesn't relate to governments!

Em said...

I agree with ed. SS is going to be the least of our worries. I envision a time when people laugh recklessly and talk about how you could turn on the faucett and hot water would come out.

Jason said...

I'm going to use your example to try out some of the new equations I learned in my investment and theory of interest course.

The Wisdom of Wislon said...

Good luck with your equations Jason.

We work our butts off for what?

Chunks said...

"The Iraq War Trillions..." that makes me barf in my mouth a little, every time I hear that.

I'm so grateful to be a Canadian. Our system isn't perfect, but at least it is better than the US's. Come to Canada, it's cold but we're really nice people. :o)

dawn said...

Yeah, you aren't ever going to see any of that money. Social Security is like monopoly money, it looks pretty but it can't buy anything real. Anyone who is counting on SS for their retirement better get real used to the idea of working until they are 89 years old. Don't worry, one thing we do have enough of in this country is Walmarts, I'm sure all the old people can get jobs there.

David said...

Is it possible to OVER simplify anything that comes from the Bush White House?

Dantallion said...

You're right - you shouldn't be so bitter. Because when it comes to government services (an oxymoron if there's ever been one), there's no such thing as simplification (or efficiency for that matter. Being bitter only affects you in the long run. Instead, try cynical. It's MUCH more fun.

Lyvvie said...

Don't expect it, don't rely on it, just consider it one of those things that is designed to cause frustration. Save wisely elsewhere Cough*stockmarket*Cough and all will be well.

And 76 is young, my friend, Young!

The Persian said...

I stopped opening those things quite a while back. Why bother when we know that in 30something years there will be little or nothing left for us. Damn all those old people for living so long!! (joking of course)

:)

Perplexio said...

Social Security was botched up by yet another Texan President-- LBJ.

Prior to LBJ, Social Security went into a seperate account that Congress was not allowed to touch. But LBJ didn't have enough money to pay for the US "police action" in Vietnam so he took the money out of the Social Security account and emptied it into the general fund which Congress has unlimited access to-- essentially he let the kids raid the cookie jar.

What is it with these Texan presidents? Getting us mired in foreign conflicts with no end in sight and f*cking up our future by letting Congress spend away Social Security. Bloody hell!

GayProf said...

Good luck reaching 76. We gay men don't live very long.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

"Hello, My name is Uncle Sam, and I'll be your robber tonight."
It's rich when when they give you advance notice that they're going to rob you!
--

toobusyliving said...

Governments do many things badly.
(* But if anyone from Health Canada, OHIP, or the Trillium Drug Program are reading this, I love you!)

nongirlfriend said...

Yeah, I hate reading those things! Depressing!

Mark in DC said...

No, you're not oversimplifying. You're dead on. Its sickening.

Mark in DC

D e s i g n Girl said...

I just got my statement not too long ago...oh so comforting isn't it?

gav25 said...

the superannuation laws here in australia are just as demented ...

Gav