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  #801  
Old Yesterday, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
Sure, which is why I believe it will end up as welfare for non-wealthy elderly, or a flat benefit as opposed to what we have now.

Before that, I assume the FICA cap will go. I'm not looking forward to it, but that will be a relatively easy sell before they say "We're gonna means test benefits directly" as opposed to current indirect methods of taxing the benefits. But I think they will end up with some sort of means-testing, or if that's too complicated, a flat benefit. Eventually.

Eventually can be a long time.
Can they institute some sort of phase-out of SS benefits based assets at SS age? People with less than $250k assets at SS age get 100% of benefits, less than $500k 75%, $1M 50%, and so on... Something like that.
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  #802  
Old Yesterday, 04:58 PM
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Too easy to transfer assets to children, etc. This is already a problem with respect to Medicaid eligibility. The government really doesn't know how much assets most people have -- and it's not so easy to find out.

Bruce
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  #803  
Old Yesterday, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
Too easy to transfer assets to children, etc. This is already a problem with respect to Medicaid eligibility. The government really doesn't know how much assets most people have -- and it's not so easy to find out.

Bruce
Yep. My thoughts exactly.
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  #804  
Old Yesterday, 07:54 PM
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How about giving a tax incentive to people who take a portion of their SS benefit? I'm just shooting from the hip. You guys must have some ideas.
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  #805  
Old Today, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by article
Whatever data you look at, the state of American saving is grim. Data from the National Institute on Retirement Security indicates 45% of Americans donít have a dime saved for retirement. Even more disturbing, the median savings amount for those near retirement ó that is, those ages 55-64 without many working years left to play catch-up ó is just $12,000.

Also read: The typical couple has only $5,000 saved for retirement
I'm always curious how they measure these things. Do they account for the fact that many people have multiple retirement accounts?

Say I have $1,000,000 in one account, and $800 in another account and $5,000 in a third account. Do they correctly say "Elinor has saved $1,005,800 for retirement" or do they say "the average retirement savings is $335,267"?

With how often people switch jobs, I could see that making a substantial difference.
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  #806  
Old Today, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by campbell View Post
Sure, which is why I believe it will end up as welfare for non-wealthy elderly, or a flat benefit as opposed to what we have now.

Before that, I assume the FICA cap will go. I'm not looking forward to it, but that will be a relatively easy sell before they say "We're gonna means test benefits directly" as opposed to current indirect methods of taxing the benefits. But I think they will end up with some sort of means-testing, or if that's too complicated, a flat benefit. Eventually.

Eventually can be a long time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KernelMustard View Post
Can they institute some sort of phase-out of SS benefits based assets at SS age? People with less than $250k assets at SS age get 100% of benefits, less than $500k 75%, $1M 50%, and so on... Something like that.
A flat benefit makes infinitely more sense than means testing, which punishes people for being responsible.
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  #807  
Old Today, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Elinor Dashwood View Post
A flat benefit makes infinitely more sense than means testing, which punishes people for being responsible.
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My latest favorite quotes, updated July 21, 2017.

Spoiler:
I should keep these three permanently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rekrap View Post
JMO is right
Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I agree with JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And def agree w/ JMO.
MORE:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
I'm disappointed I don't get to do both.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
It's SO much better to work for a good manager.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patience View Post
slow down
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper View Post
It is really easy to judge from an ill-informed, outside view.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
The ones who complain that they're too good for that kind of work really aren't that good.
Two really useful all-purpose responses. Use one or both:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonScandopolous View Post
To which I say: duh and lol.
Careers:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
actuarial isn't the only good career out there.
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  #808  
Old Today, 01:47 PM
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Yes, I hope it goes to a flat benefit.

I will probably get to find out.
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  #809  
Old Today, 05:25 PM
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http://www.plansponsor.com/Social-Se...ncome-Workers/

Quote:
Social Security May be Adequate for Low-Income Workers
The American Enterprise Institute questions the benefit of automatically enrolling low-income workers into state-run IRAs.

Around the country, more than half of state governments are pushing to establish automatically enrolled individual retirement accounts (IRAs) for low-income workers, who most likely are not being offered a retirement plan at their workplace, notes the American Enterprise Institute.

The state plans have initial deferral rates ranging between 3% and 6%, with some pairing that with auto escalation up to an 8% ceiling. While the intention is to help these people have a better quality of life in retirement, Social Security pays lower-wage workers much higher relative benefits, the Institute notes. The lower-paid also pay less tax and are more likely to receive social insurance disability income and survivor benefits.

According to the Institute's report, Census Bureau data shows only 8.8% of Americans ages 65 and older had incomes below the poverty line, which the Institute attributes to “Social Security’s progressive benefit formula, which pays more generous benefits to low earners.” For instance, for a person earning an average wage of $12,000 a year, Social Security would replace 90% of those earnings. “It is not clear why a worker with poverty-level earnings would place a great emphasis on saving for retirement versus other potentially more pressing needs," the Institute says.

Additionally, there is the danger that low-income workers who are automatically enrolled into an IRA will seek out loans with high interest rates and increase their credit card debt, the Institute says. It looked at federal Thrift Savings Plan data that showed the debt level for low-income workers automatically enrolled in that plan increased in line with the amount of deferrals they made into the plan or even more.

The paper also argues that automatically enrolling low-income workers would more than likely make them ineligible for means-tested government benefits, such as Medicaid, Temporary Aid for Needy Families, food stamps, Supplemental Security Income, Section 8 housing assistance and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. “Even at low contribution rates and modest investment returns, it would not take many years for low-income, auto-IRA participants to bump up against common asset thresholds,” the Institute says.

In conclusion, the Institute says, “Many low-income workers may be rational in not saving substantial amounts for retirement over and above what Social Security will provide.”

American Enterprise Institute’s full report, “How Hard Should We Push the Poor to Save for Retirement?”, can be downloaded here.
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploa...ngs-072017.pdf

Quote:
How Hard Should We Push the Poor to Save for Retirement?
Andrew G. Biggs
American Enterprise Institute
Draft: July 12, 2017
Abstract
More than half of U.S. states are working to establish programs what would automatically
enrollment in Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) workers who are not offered a retirement
plan by their employer. These programs are designed to address a perceived shortfall of
retirement saving, particularly among low-wage workers who are less likely to be offered an
employer-sponsored plan. But the designers of state-run auto-IRA plans fail to consider three
questions: Do the poor need to save more for retirement? Will state-run auto-IRA plans increase
net household savings? And, after accounting for interactions with means-tested government
transfer programs, will state-run auto-IRA plans make the poor better off? The answer to all
three questions may be “no.” First, tax data indicate that most low-income retirees have incomes
adequate to maintain their pre-retirement standard of living. Second, recent research has found
that employees automatically enrolled in retirement plans may accrue additional debts that offset
much or all of their own contributions. Third, income- and asset-tests for federal and state
transfer programs could reduce benefits to low-earners in substantially greater amounts than they
could save in auto-IRA accounts. In light of these issues, policymakers should reconsider the
design of state-run auto-IRA programs. One potential improvement is to exempt truly lowearning
workers, such as those with earnings below $12,000, from automatic enrollment in these
plans while leaving open the option to voluntary participate.
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  #810  
Old Today, 06:12 PM
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If I recall correctly, SS was about 50% of my dad's retirement income, and a significantly larger share of my mother's. Their lifestyle was pretty similar to how they lived while employed. FWIW.

Medicaid had to chip in, though after my mother had to be institutionalized with Alzheimer's.
__________________
Carol Marler, "Just My Opinion"

Pluto is no longer a planet and I am no longer an actuary. Please take my opinions as non-actuarial.


My latest favorite quotes, updated July 21, 2017.

Spoiler:
I should keep these three permanently.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rekrap View Post
JMO is right
Quote:
Originally Posted by campbell View Post
I agree with JMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Westley View Post
And def agree w/ JMO.
MORE:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Locrian View Post
I'm disappointed I don't get to do both.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeppermintPatty View Post
It's SO much better to work for a good manager.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patience View Post
slow down
Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper View Post
It is really easy to judge from an ill-informed, outside view.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
The ones who complain that they're too good for that kind of work really aren't that good.
Two really useful all-purpose responses. Use one or both:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonScandopolous View Post
To which I say: duh and lol.
Careers:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
actuarial isn't the only good career out there.
Reply With Quote
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