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Donald J. Trump IS the Worst President in US History - and probably will be forever.


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8 minutes ago, ElCid said:

AOC is very ambitious and very dedicated to her political philosophy - socialism.  She has the advantage of being from a very socialistic district and that tends to isolate her from the rest of America.  She also refers to her three socialist counterparts as "my squad," not the squad.  That in itself implies ambitions for leadership and nothing is bigger than Speaker of the House.  

This post is also for Bogie56's benefit.

A.O.C.  knows how to use identity politics well.  I.e.  it was more about her being a women-of-color that helped her defeat 50 something white guy Joe Crowley than socialism back in the 2018 Dem primary.

Like I said she is wise politically so  wouldn't challenge Chuck Schumer for that Senate seat,  if she didn't believe she could win,   waiting instead for one of the NY Senators to either retire  or die. 

Here is sections from an article that ran yesterday:

The chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) should not challenge Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the 2022 Democratic primary, according to the New York Post.

“I think it would be a primary driven by ambition more than by need,” state party boss Jay Jacobs told the newspaper, saying he believed the progressive congresswoman would “absolutely” lose to Schumer.

Chuck Schumer has been a progressive force in the state for decades,” Jacobs told the Post. “[Ocasio-Cortez] has a constituency that admires her and supports her, and they’re in her community, and I think it would be a loss for them if she were to do that.”

More recently, in October, Ocasio-Cortez told Vanity Fair, “I don’t know if I’m really going to be staying in the House forever, or if I do stay in the House, what that would look like. I don’t see myself really staying where I’m at for the rest of my life.”

Ocasio-Cortez has frequently said Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should be replaced but also has said she is not yet prepared to take a leadership position herself.

“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party. ... The internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there's very little option for succession,” she said in a December interview with The Intercept’s podcast. “It's easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, well, you know, why don't you run?’ but the House is extraordinarily complex, and I'm not ready. It can't be me. I know that I couldn't do that job.”

 

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6 minutes ago, ElCid said:

AOC is very ambitious and very dedicated to her political philosophy - socialism.  She has the advantage of being from a very socialistic district and that tends to isolate her from the rest of America.  She also refers to her three socialist counterparts as "my squad," not the squad.  That in itself implies ambitions for leadership and nothing is bigger than Speaker of the House.  

This post is also for Bogie56's benefit.

Like her or not ,you have to admit that she is not going to see the progressive changes that she and millions, yes millions in America would like to see by keeping quiet about it.

I realize that even more Americans either fear or just don't want such progressive change.  That has not escaped me either.  But many of the things that progressives want are already enjoyed in Canada and in Europe.  I think the bugaboo is more in the ingrained messaging attached to any ideas that appear socialist.

Funny how Trump's $2,000 has not been smeared as 'socialist' by his own party, isn't it.

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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

A.O.C.  knows how to use identity politics well.  I.e.  it was more about her being a women-of-color that helped her defeat 50 something white guy Joe Crowley than socialism back in the 2018 Dem primary.

Like I said she is wise politically so  wouldn't challenge Chuck Schumer for that Senate seat,  if she didn't believe she could win,   waiting instead for one of the NY Senators to either retire  or die. 

Here is sections from an article that ran yesterday:

The chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) should not challenge Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the 2022 Democratic primary, according to the New York Post.

“I think it would be a primary driven by ambition more than by need,” state party boss Jay Jacobs told the newspaper, saying he believed the progressive congresswoman would “absolutely” lose to Schumer.

Chuck Schumer has been a progressive force in the state for decades,” Jacobs told the Post. “[Ocasio-Cortez] has a constituency that admires her and supports her, and they’re in her community, and I think it would be a loss for them if she were to do that.”

More recently, in October, Ocasio-Cortez told Vanity Fair, “I don’t know if I’m really going to be staying in the House forever, or if I do stay in the House, what that would look like. I don’t see myself really staying where I’m at for the rest of my life.”

Ocasio-Cortez has frequently said Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should be replaced but also has said she is not yet prepared to take a leadership position herself.

“I do think that we need new leadership in the Democratic Party. ... The internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there's very little option for succession,” she said in a December interview with The Intercept’s podcast. “It's easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, well, you know, why don't you run?’ but the House is extraordinarily complex, and I'm not ready. It can't be me. I know that I couldn't do that job.”

 

Thanks, and I agree with her last two statements.  Hopefully she means it.

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4 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

It's easy for someone to say, ‘Oh, well, you know, why don't you run?’ but the House is extraordinarily complex, and I'm not ready. It can't be me. I know that I couldn't do that job.”

 

This is what I meant by saying that she is pragmatic about any leadership role.  Thanks.

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1 minute ago, Bogie56 said:

Like her or not ,you have to admit that she is not going to see the progressive changes that she and millions, yes millions in America would like to see by keeping quiet about it.

I realize that even more Americans either fear or just don't want such progressive change.  That has not escaped me either.  But many of the things that progressives want are already enjoyed in Canada and in Europe.  I think the bugaboo is more in the ingrained messaging attached to any ideas that appear socialist.

Funny how Trump's $2,000 has not been smeared as 'socialist' by his own party, isn't it.

Here we go again.  This ain't Canada or Europe.  What many fail to understand or see is that the Republicans won the 2020 elections except for Trump.  Even with the largest Democratic leaning turnout in history.

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1 minute ago, ElCid said:

Here we go again.  This ain't Canada or Europe.  What many fail to understand or see is that the Republicans won the 2020 elections except for Trump.  Even with the largest Democratic leaning turnout in history.

I think I stated I was well aware of that in my own post, thank you.

Some people don't mind wondering what is going on in the rest of the world.

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4 minutes ago, Bogie56 said:

This is what I meant by saying that she is pragmatic about any leadership role.  Thanks.

Saying it and meaning it are two different things.  She wants a leadership role of some kind as evidenced by her numerous comments, appearances on media and so forth.  Of course they seek her out, but she doesn't have to keep responding.

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1 minute ago, Bogie56 said:

I think I stated I was well aware of that in my own post, thank you.

Some people don't mind wondering what is going on in the rest of the world.

Wondering what is going on in the rest of the world is one thing, but expecting US to copy what they do is another.  The majority of American voters are not ready for it.

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The U.S. has embraced some form of socialism at the national level at least since 1935, with the passage of the Social Security Act.  Why people don't recognize this as a program of socialism, I've never been able to figure out.  

The U.S. was one of the last major industrial nations to enact some form of social security.  It took a Depression to do that.

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8 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Wondering what is going on in the rest of the world is one thing, but expecting US to copy what they do is another.  The majority of American voters are not ready for it.

Where did I say that I expect the U.S. to do anything of the sort?  I said "I realize that even more Americans either fear or just don't want such progressive change" which is almost the same as your "The majority of American voters are not ready for it."

It would be nice if you stopped projecting what you think are personal opinions versus statements of fact.  Otherwise this just turns into an opportunity for you to brow beat anyone you doesn't go along with you.

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3 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

The U.S. has embraced some form of socialism at the national level at least since 1935, with the passage of the Social Security Act.  Why people don't recognize this as a program of socialism, I've never been able to figure out.  

The U.S. was one of the last major industrial nations to enact some form of social security.  It took a Depression to do that.

While most don't, many do recognize it as socialism.  However, it is not where European/Canadian socialism is today.  There are still many people who oppose Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, etc.  As a minimum they want them reduced.

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1 minute ago, Bogie56 said:

Where did I say that I expect the U.S. to do anything of the sort?  I said "I realize that even more Americans either fear or just don't want such progressive change" which is almost the same as your "The majority of American voters are not ready for it."

It would be nice if you stopped projecting what you think are personal opinions versus statements of fact.  Otherwise this just turns into an opportunity for you to brow beat anyone you doesn't go along with you.

You keep comparing what exists in US to what Canada and Europe provide for their people.  You have said it so much there is no alternative but to believe you are advocating for the US to adopt what Europe has done.  If you cannot see that, you have blinders on.

It would be nice if you stopped projecting what you think are personal opinions versus statements of fact.  Otherwise this just turns into an opportunity for you to brow beat anyone you doesn't go along with you.

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7 minutes ago, ElCid said:

You keep comparing what exists in US to what Canada and Europe provide for their people.  You have said it so much there is no alternative but to believe you are advocating for the US to adopt what Europe has done.  If you cannot see that, you have blinders on.

It would be nice if you stopped projecting what you think are personal opinions versus statements of fact.  Otherwise this just turns into an opportunity for you to brow beat anyone you doesn't go along with you.

I mention it as to de-stygmatize the crap that I read about progressives.  It is 90% messaging that makes Americans FEARFUL of any sort of change most of which are not BIG changes.

I personally am not advocating that America become more progressive.  It would be nice to see less poverty and suffering but the majority of Americans seem to be able to live with that and almost half would prefer a kleptocracy under Donald Trump.

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9 minutes ago, ElCid said:

While most don't, many do recognize it as socialism.  However, it is not where European/Canadian socialism is today.  There are still many people who oppose Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, etc.  As a minimum they want them reduced.

Yes.  The argument that some put forth against socialism is that the U.S. is a capitalist economy, casting it as an either/or binary option.  You're either one of the other.  In truth, most modern countries, including the U.S., are a blend of both, and the average person on the street seems to ignore this, even while cashing their U.S. Treasury checks from one program or another. 

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21 hours ago, ElCid said:

While most don't, many do recognize it as socialism.  However, it is not where European/Canadian socialism is today.  There are still many people who oppose Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, etc.  As a minimum they want them reduced.

Personally, I don't know anyone who wants Social Security reduced or eliminated.  OR anyone who's opposed to it.  Except those in government that would prefer people pay into IRA's and 401Ks with interest rates that can be taxed.  With social security you have the option to have your monthly payments federally taxed or not.  Or you can wind up paying a relatively small amount come April tax time.(last year I had to pay $700.  Far less than the couple thousand I paid in yearly withholding to both the Feds and state combined when I was still working).     

I'm still not sure how Medicaid ties into any of this as it was my understanding that Medicaid was offered to only low income persons, which left me and my wife out of the running. 

Sepiatone

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7 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Personally, I don't know anyone who wants Social Security reduced or eliminated.  OR anyone who's opposed to it.  Except those in government that would prefer people pay into IRA's and 401Ks with interest rates that can be taxed.  With social security you have the option to have your monthly payments federally taxed or not.  Or you can wind up paying a relatively small amount come April tax time.(last year I had to pay $700.  Far less than the couple thousand I paid in yearly withholding to both the Feds and state combined when I was still working).     

I'm still not sure how Medicaid ties into any of this as it was my understanding that Medicaid was offered to only low income persons, which left me and my wife out of the running. 

Sepiatone

Republicans generally  would prefer that Social Security and Medicare benefits be reduced significantly, BUT (and it is a big BUT), they know that is the third rail of American politics.  So, they don't say anything publicly and usually end up voting for continuations or increases.   Corporations and the top 10% definitely want SS and Medicare eliminated.  While currently funded, that will not last forever and reductions now would extend the time frame.

One aspect of SS that most do not realize is that is no where need what FDR or Congress intended when it was established.  It was meant as a supplement to your own savings plan over your working life.  Enough to keep you from starving.  Also, it only covered people who had contributed to the system up until they became 65 and retired.  Forget what the minimum number of years was, but think it was based on age.  No early retirement, no widow's benefits, no spousal benefits, no automatic increases.  And never meant to be sole source of income to live in a comfortable lifestyle.  There was also no disability retirement.  As for disability retirement, it now provides extra money per child regardless of previous income of disabled worker.

The amount you pay in Federal taxes on Social Security is based on your other income and of course your tax bracket.  As for Medicare, part of the funding for AMA (Obamacare) is an extra tax on Social Security recipients in certain income brackets.  Automatically deducted from your check.

Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income go back to the LBJ era when the Federal government took over many of the welfare programs of the states.  In other words, the states dumped their welfare payment and medical coverage for the poor on the Feds.  It did result in a consistent system across the nation, particularly for medical coverage.

SSI and Medicaid are for low income persons and in some cases children regardless of "income" of parents.  Both are funded entirely by the annual budgets and therefore a significant impact on national debt and deficit.  Hence opposition from Republicans, but another one they can't voice too loudly without offending too many people.

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19 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Republicans generally  would prefer that Social Security and Medicare benefits be reduced significantly

I always wanted Social Security to be optional along the lines of mandatory auto-insurance.  If one could show they were saving for retirement and the funds in their retirement account were growing at a certain rate,  they could bypass Social Security.     But such a plan would have been difficult to implement and there were major holes in this idea (e.g. someone losing a major portion of their retirement  funds due to overly speculative investment),   so I was never passionate about this.    I surely wouldn't vote for GOP pols that were thinking of privatizing Social Security.  

My Republican mom was always against Social Security,  until she started to collect it.    I.e. she wasn't a planner and didn't save for her future,  insisting she would die before she could ever collect benefits.    Today, after collecting SS for over 20 years,   she insist she never had that POV!     Yea,  her pants are on fire.

 

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What I gather(and remember) Cid, is that for the 30 years I worked for GM( and the short time for other employers previous) is that there was always a withholding for SS.  And since I retired on a disability pension( from GM)  I also receive a small stipend  amount added to my monthly SS allowance.  Not sure why exactly except maybe because unlike other retirees, because I'm medically retired from GM I can't take on a small part time job like many other retirees  can.   And too, I thought(and still kinda think) that MEDICAID was usually available through the SOCIAL SERVICES  Department, which doesn't have(to my knowledge) any connection to the Social Security commission.

Sepiatone

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11 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Republicans generally  would prefer that Social Security and Medicare benefits be reduced significantly, BUT (and it is a big BUT), they know that is the third rail of American politics.  So, they don't say anything publicly and usually end up voting for continuations or increases.   Corporations and the top 10% definitely want SS and Medicare eliminated.  While currently funded, that will not last forever and reductions now would extend the time frame.

One aspect of SS that most do not realize is that is no where need what FDR or Congress intended when it was established.  It was meant as a supplement to your own savings plan over your working life.  Enough to keep you from starving.  Also, it only covered people who had contributed to the system up until they became 65 and retired.  Forget what the minimum number of years was, but think it was based on age.  No early retirement, no widow's benefits, no spousal benefits, no automatic increases.  And never meant to be sole source of income to live in a comfortable lifestyle.  There was also no disability retirement.  As for disability retirement, it now provides extra money per child regardless of previous income of disabled worker.

The amount you pay in Federal taxes on Social Security is based on your other income and of course your tax bracket.  As for Medicare, part of the funding for AMA (Obamacare) is an extra tax on Social Security recipients in certain income brackets.  Automatically deducted from your check.

Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income go back to the LBJ era when the Federal government took over many of the welfare programs of the states.  In other words, the states dumped their welfare payment and medical coverage for the poor on the Feds.  It did result in a consistent system across the nation, particularly for medical coverage.

SSI and Medicaid are for low income persons and in some cases children regardless of "income" of parents.  Both are funded entirely by the annual budgets and therefore a significant impact on national debt and deficit.  Hence opposition from Republicans, but another one they can't voice too loudly without offending too many people.

SS is still not designed to be the sole source of retirement income.   It was set up in the era of defined benefit pensions, which few have today.   It was always described as a three-legged stool: SS, DB pension, personal savings.  There have been a couple of changes in the last 40 or 50 years that took the legs out from under that stool: DB pensions replaced by pre-tax savings programs (IRAs, 401Ks) and slow wage growth in many industries that have hampered some people's abilities to save for retirement.   Some also spend every penny they make.  You hear stories of people making $500K a year, but consider themselves middle class because of their spending choices and being unable to save money.  That's just poor financial planning, IMO.

The problem with making any SS policy changes is that since it is primarily a retirement vehicle (as most think of it), you need to make changes very slowly to be fair.  An example was the raising of the retirement age, passed in 1983.   It slowly raises the full retirement age from 65 to 67, based on your year of birth.  But the youngest people who could still retire at 65 when this was passed were only 46 at the time.  That meant anyone younger than that had to now plan on full retirement later than 65, but it was enough time to plan.

Before any drastic changes are made to SS, you have to allow people enough runway to make changes in their long-term finances.

BTW, if you start taking SS retirement before your full retirement age, the monthly payout is reduced (by 30% if your full retirement age is 67 and you take it at 62). 

 

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10 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I always wanted Social Security to be optional along the lines of mandatory auto-insurance.  If one could show they were saving for retirement and the funds in their retirement account were growing at a certain rate,  they could bypass Social Security.     But such a plan would have been difficult to implement and there were major holes in this idea (e.g. someone losing a major portion of their retirement  funds due to overly speculative investment),   so I was never passionate about this.    I surely wouldn't vote for GOP pols that were thinking of privatizing Social Security.  

My Republican mom was always against Social Security,  until she started to collect it.    I.e. she wasn't a planner and didn't save for her future,  insisting she would die before she could ever collect benefits.    Today, after collecting SS for over 20 years,   she insist she never had that POV!     Yea,  her pants are on fire.

 

The major hole in this is that there are too many who don't make enough to invest or save.  Add in the many who refuse to save or invest for the future.

7 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

What I gather(and remember) Cid, is that for the 30 years I worked for GM( and the short time for other employers previous) is that there was always a withholding for SS.  And since I retired on a disability pension( from GM)  I also receive a small stipend  amount added to my monthly SS allowance.  Not sure why exactly except maybe because unlike other retirees, because I'm medically retired from GM I can't take on a small part time job like many other retirees  can.   And too, I thought(and still kinda think) that MEDICAID was usually available through the SOCIAL SERVICES  Department, which doesn't have(to my knowledge) any connection to the Social Security commission.

Sepiatone

Not sure what a DB is but I assume disability(?).  Your retirement from GM as being disabled would not affect the amount of your SS check.  If you retired before 65 as being 100% disabled per SS regulations, then you would receive a larger SS check, but that is NOT based on any disability from GM.

Medicaid is administered and funded by Social Security.  People may apply for it at DSS or similar, but SS decides whether or not you get it and how much.  

6 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

SS is still not designed to be the sole source of retirement income.   It was set up in the era of defined benefit pensions, which few have today.   It was always described as a three-legged stool: SS, DB pension, personal savings.  There have been a couple of changes in the last 40 or 50 years that took the legs out from under that stool: DB pensions replaced by pre-tax savings programs (IRAs, 401Ks) and slow wage growth in many industries that have hampered some people's abilities to save for retirement.   Some also spend every penny they make.  You hear stories of people making $500K a year, but consider themselves middle class because of their spending choices and being unable to save money.  That's just poor financial planning, IMO.

The problem with making any SS policy changes is that since it is primarily a retirement vehicle (as most think of it), you need to make changes very slowly to be fair.  An example was the raising of the retirement age, passed in 1983.   It slowly raises the full retirement age from 65 to 67, based on your year of birth.  But the youngest people who could still retire at 65 when this was passed were only 46 at the time.  That meant anyone younger than that had to now plan on full retirement later than 65, but it was enough time to plan.

Before any drastic changes are made to SS, you have to allow people enough runway to make changes in their long-term finances.

BTW, if you start taking SS retirement before your full retirement age, the monthly payout is reduced (by 30% if your full retirement age is 67 and you take it at 62). 

 

It was actually set up before there were pensions in the US, other than for railroad workers and maybe a very few others.  That is why it was so appealing.

If DB refers to disability pensions, that was not created by SS until late 50's and even then it froze your benefits until you reached age 65.  No money until 65,but you did not have to make any more contributions.  It was later that the current SS disability program was created which afforded benefits as soon as you were adjudicated as disabled.

Part of the impetus for SS was that during the Depression the previous sources of help for aged poor was churches, charities and state and local governments.  Guess who had almost no money during the Depression.  So there was no financial support for aged except families and what they had saved.  Very few companies offered retirement the way we know it now.

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1 minute ago, ElCid said:

The major hole in this is that there are too many who don't make enough to invest or save.  Add in the many who refuse to save or invest for the future.

Not sure what a DB is but I assume disability(?).  Your retirement from GM as being disabled would not affect the amount of your SS check.  If you retired before 65 as being 100% disabled per SS regulations, then you would receive a larger SS check, but that is NOT based on any disability from GM.

Medicaid is administered and funded by Social Security.  People may apply for it at DSS or similar, but SS decides whether or not you get it and how much.  

It was actually set up before there were pensions in the US, other than for railroad workers and maybe a very few others.  That is why it was so appealing.

If DB refers to disability pensions, that was not created by SS until late 50's and even then it froze your benefits until you reached age 65.  No money until 65,but you did not have to make any more contributions.  It was later that the current SS disability program was created which afforded benefits as soon as you were adjudicated as disabled.

Part of the impetus for SS was that during the Depression the previous sources of help for aged poor was churches, charities and state and local governments.  Guess who had almost no money during the Depression.  So there was no financial support for aged except families and what they had saved.  Very few companies offered retirement the way we know it now.

DB  = defined benefit.  These started in the late 1800s, but I'll agree that their popularity didn't take off until after WWII (as did employer-provided/subsidized health insurance).

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3 minutes ago, ElCid said:

The major hole in this is that there are too many who don't make enough to invest or save.  Add in the many who refuse to save or invest for the future.

It appears my idea confused you.     My plan for SS wouldn't be optional for those that don't make enough to invest or save or those that refuse to save or invest in the future.  I felt I made that clear when I said that each individual would have to show "they were saving for retirement and the funds in their retirement account were growing at a certain rate".  

On an annual basis (say when filling their Fed income taxes) one would have to clearly demonstrate they were planning and saving for their retirement at a rate exceeding what Social Security would pay out.     Anyhow,  like I said there were flaws in this plan.

I did create my own plan regardless.    Therefor I'll be collecting Social Security benefits,  but also monthly income from annuities, and other very safe investments.   What made me this way was the scene in Gone with the Wind about needing to be dependent on others.     (no joke).    After my dad because a criminal for tax fraud and the IRS took everything the family had,   I because very conservative fiscally after I saw Scarlett in that scene.

 

 

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3 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

It appears my idea confused you.     My plan for SS wouldn't be optional for those that don't make enough to invest or save or those that refuse to save or invest in the future.  I felt I made that clear when I said that each individual would have to show "they were saving for retirement and the funds in their retirement account were growing at a certain rate".  

On an annual basis (say when filling their Fed income taxes) one would have to clearly demonstrate they were planning and saving for their retirement at a rate exceeding what Social Security would pay out.     Anyhow,  like I said there were flaws in this plan.

I did create my own plan regardless.    Therefor I'll be collecting Social Security benefits,  but also monthly income from annuities, and other very safe investments.   What made me this way was the scene in Gone with the Wind about needing to be dependent on others.     (no joke).    After my dad because a criminal for tax fraud and the IRS took everything the family had,   I because very conservative fiscally after I saw Scarlett in that scene.

 

 

A lot of people aren't as disciplined.  The median 401k balance in the country is $60,900.  Average is $170,000 (which shows those who have high balances skew the average.  You'd like for those to be closer.

 For those who are 60-69 (people who just retired or are about to retire, assuming that's 65), the average 401K balance is $195,000; median $62,000.  Using the "4% safe withdrawal rate" metric, that would give someone about $7800 a year income, using the average figure.

And only 56% of workers participate in some sort of workplace retirement savings plan.

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