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


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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.

 

 

The Australian system, as I understand it, may come close to what you're proposing.  There, employers must contribute 9.5% (though it graduates up to 12% by 2027) of your income in a set of government approved investment funds.   Employees may contribute above this level, if they wish.

The state pension is means tested, and it is only provided for basic needs, and is the same for everyone regardless of their previous income levels (unlike the US system).  The current payout is A$670.90 every two weeks for a single person, and A$1011.40 for couples, every two weeks.  There is a means-tested supplement that may be available that would add A$58 and A$88 to those values every two weeks.   A$671 is about US$510.  So a little more than $1000 a month for a single person; US$1540 for a couple.  

The UK state pension is similar, in that it is very basic, and is the same regardless of your previous earnings.  The old pension currently pays out at 134.25 pounds per week, or about $182.  The new pension pays 175.20 pounds per week.

Of course, both Australia and the UK have a host of other social programs to help low income retirees (council housing, rent assistance, heat assistance, etc).  And mostly free health care.

 

 

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1 hour ago, txfilmfan said:

The Australian system, as I understand it, may come close to what you're proposing.  There, employers must contribute 9.5% (though it graduates up to 12% by 2027) of your income in a set of government approved investment funds.   Employees may contribute above this level, if they wish.

The state pension is means tested, and it is only provided for basic needs, and is the same for everyone regardless of their previous income levels (unlike the US system).  The current payout is A$670.90 every two weeks for a single person, and A$1011.40 for couples, every two weeks.  There is a means-tested supplement that may be available that would add A$58 and A$88 to those values every two weeks.   A$671 is about US$510.  So a little more than $1000 a month for a single person; US$1540 for a couple.  

The UK state pension is similar, in that it is very basic, and is the same regardless of your previous earnings.  The old pension currently pays out at 134.25 pounds per week, or about $182.  The new pension pays 175.20 pounds per week.

Of course, both Australia and the UK have a host of other social programs to help low income retirees (council housing, rent assistance, heat assistance, etc).  And mostly free health care.

 

 

Note with regards to the massive college loan debt in the USA instead of the Feds just forgiving the debt like Sanders and other progressives have proposed (up to 50K),  or Biden (up to 10K),     I recommend this plan:

1) All interest on the loan is terminated,  thus leaving them with a fixed amount of debt.    I would add a clause that if CPI goes over 3% ,  interest at the rate of the CPI is added to the loan.    

2) Those with a college loan,   when filing their Federal income tax can write-off a portion (say 5% of their loan),  if their taxable income is below a certain level.   If not,  as part of their Fed income tax filing they have to pay 5% of their loan and any annual interest.     This continues each and every year for 20 years  (unless someone decides to pay off their load in advance to avoid possible future interest).  

Such a plan helps those that need it (i.e. are not earning enough to pay any portion off their loan) until that college degree they earned increases their annual income.   I see no need to give people that are making a sound annual income or other means of wealth (e.g. they inherit money),    debt relief. 

 

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2 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Note with regards to the massive college loan debt in the USA instead of the Feds just forgiving the debt like Sanders and other progressives have proposed (up to 50K),  or Biden (up to 10K),     I recommend this plan:

1) All interest on the loan is terminated,  thus leaving them with a fixed amount of debt.    I would add a clause that if CPI goes over 3% ,  interest at the rate of the CPI is added to the loan.    

2) Those with a college loan,   when filing their Federal income tax can write-off a portion (say 5% of their loan),  if their taxable income is below a certain level.   If not,  as part of their Fed income tax filing they have to pay 5% of their loan and any annual interest.     This continues each and every year for 20 years  (unless someone decides to pay off their load in advance to avoid possible future interest).  

Such a plan helps those that need it (i.e. are not earning enough to pay any portion off their loan) until that college degree they earned increases their annual income.   I see no need to give people that are making a sound annual income or other means of wealth (e.g. they inherit money),    debt relief. 

 

Just curious--

James, Did you have a student loan for your college education?

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15 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

Just curious--

James, Did you have a student loan for your college education?

I received a scholarship from the Japanese Student fund.    I needed money badly, and didn't know how I was going to make it so I went to the Student loan center.   I opened the door and the room is packed full of students.    I was about to leave and one of the college admins asked me what race I was.    I was surprised and said Japanese.  She said,  well come this way.     Instead of having to apply for a government backed loan,  I was told that as long as I was 50% Japanese (which I was since mom was 100%),   I qualified for a scholarship.      She told me a funny story that relates to Japanese culture;     That Japanese-Americans were a very well off group and contributed a lot money to the student fund, but that Japanese-American students and their parents, that were in need were very hesitant to ask due to their pride.    Therefore the fund was taking in much more than it was paying out each year.    Thus I got the max and it helped me until I got a job as a programmer. 

 

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Note with regards to the massive college loan debt in the USA instead of the Feds just forgiving the debt like Sanders and other progressives have proposed (up to 50K),  or Biden (up to 10K),     I recommend this plan:

1) All interest on the loan is terminated,  thus leaving them with a fixed amount of debt.    I would add a clause that if CPI goes over 3% ,  interest at the rate of the CPI is added to the loan.    

2) Those with a college loan,   when filing their Federal income tax can write-off a portion (say 5% of their loan),  if their taxable income is below a certain level.   If not,  as part of their Fed income tax filing they have to pay 5% of their loan and any annual interest.     This continues each and every year for 20 years  (unless someone decides to pay off their load in advance to avoid possible future interest).  

Such a plan helps those that need it (i.e. are not earning enough to pay any portion off their loan) until that college degree they earned increases their annual income.   I see no need to give people that are making a sound annual income or other means of wealth (e.g. they inherit money),    debt relief. 

 

Four problems I see with higher ed in US.  1.  The schools charge way, way too much.  2.  There are too many majors with too many students that do not relate to jobs that will enable someone to pay back a loan.  3.  Too many people are going to college.  4.  Too many employers require four year college degrees for jobs that actually require no more than one to two years in an effective community/technical college.

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Trump's cabinet is also the worst in US history.   

He and DeVos created an executive order that would permit federal funds to go to private schools.  The courts have previously ruled all their similar attempts unconstitutional.  Hopefully Biden will reverse it when he comes into office and before it becomes effective.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2020/12/28/donald-trump-school-choice-executive-order-betsy-devos/4068332001/

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20 hours 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.

Found some interesting info:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-is-medicare-funded#funding-sources

https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/medicaid-financing-how-does-it-work-and-what-are-the-implications/

I  saw no indication of SS involved in Medicaid funding.  OR Medicare either, although I know SS is involved somehow.  At least it's THEM who issued the cards and the card renewals.

I qualified for SS when I turned 62.  Till then, I received a slightly reduced pension from GM due to my retirement being considered a medical retirement.  I never used the DB designation, don't know where or how you came up with that.

But it wasn't until I was 65 that SS increased my payment, and told me it was a disability increase.  AND gave me my Medicare card.  Of course, they refused earlier applications for SS disability due to them claiming my disability, as it were, didn't make me unable to make any kind of living.  I really couldn't argue with that,  but what I couldn't make clear was that even if I earned 10 cents a day stuffing envelopes,  it would be enough for General Motors to discontinue my "medical" pension.  I was "officially" retired from GM on Jan. 1 2000, a year and 11 months before my "30 and out" normal qualification.  I guess by 2011 SS figured I was too disabled to work and gave me the disability increase.    

Sepiatone

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3 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Found some interesting info:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/how-is-medicare-funded#funding-sources

https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/medicaid-financing-how-does-it-work-and-what-are-the-implications/

I  saw no indication of SS involved in Medicaid funding.  OR Medicare either, although I know SS is involved somehow.  At least it's THEM who issued the cards and the card renewals.

I qualified for SS when I turned 62.  Till then, I received a slightly reduced pension from GM due to my retirement being considered a medical retirement.  I never used the DB designation, don't know where or how you came up with that.

But it wasn't until I was 65 that SS increased my payment, and told me it was a disability increase.  AND gave me my Medicare card.  Of course, they refused earlier applications for SS disability due to them claiming my disability, as it were, didn't make me unable to make any kind of living.  I really couldn't argue with that,  but what I couldn't make clear was that even if I earned 10 cents a day stuffing envelopes,  it would be enough for General Motors to discontinue my "medical" pension.  I was "officially" retired from GM on Jan. 1 2000, a year and 11 months before my "30 and out" normal qualification.  I guess by 2011 SS figured I was too disabled to work and gave me the disability increase.    

Sepiatone

Social Security provides Retirement and Medicare - two different programs, but SS administers both of them.  It administers SSI and Medicaid as well, but funding for them comes from the Federal general budget (tax money) whereas as Social Security Disability and Retirement come from contributions.  SS also provides widow's pensions, spousal pensions and disabled adult child pensions out of the contributions.

In order for you to receive a disability pension from SS you have to be 100% disabled.  You would have to have applied and been approved for Disability benefits, not retirement.  Don't understand why SS would have given you a "disability" increase if you never were approved for disability.   They never gave me one.

 

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3 minutes ago, ElCid said:

Social Security provides Retirement and Medicare - two different programs, but SS administers both of them.  It administers SSI and Medicaid as well, but funding for them comes from the Federal general budget (tax money) whereas as Social Security Disability and Retirement come from contributions.  SS also provides widow's pensions, spousal pensions and disabled adult child pensions out of the contributions.

In order for you to receive a disability pension from SS you have to be 100% disabled.  You would have to have applied and been approved for Disability benefits, not retirement.  Don't understand why SS would have given you a "disability" increase if you never were approved for disability.   They never gave me one.

 

I really didn't understand either, but let it go.  "Gift horse" and all.....  ;)

But SS was always odd in how they considered such things.  I remember having to borrow a wheelchair in order to roll my wife into a small makeshift "courtroom" to have a judge rule in favor of her receiving SS disability.  Her diabetic peripheral Neuropathy   left her totally unable to work, but it took a judge to see that to get it across.  All the paperwork her doctors sent them didn't phase them.  Go figure.  There are several law firms advertising on TV that they'll get your SS disability for you.  Ever give them a try?  ;) 

My complaint now is the "spousal pension" thing.  As it applies to "surviving spouse" issues.

When still alive, my wife's GM pension(also a "medical" retirement) and her Social Security payments were a large part of our combined income.  After her death, SS completely cut off her payments.  Not even anything for the "surviving spouse".  At least GM sends me, as the surviving spouse, a monthly check for 65% of her pension. 

Sepiatone

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6 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I really didn't understand either, but let it go.  "Gift horse" and all.....  ;)

But SS was always odd in how they considered such things.  I remember having to borrow a wheelchair in order to roll my wife into a small makeshift "courtroom" to have a judge rule in favor of her receiving SS disability.  Her diabetic peripheral Neuropathy   left her totally unable to work, but it took a judge to see that to get it across.  All the paperwork her doctors sent them didn't phase them.  Go figure.  There are several law firms advertising on TV that they'll get your SS disability for you.  Ever give them a try?  ;) 

My complaint now is the "spousal pension" thing.  As it applies to "surviving spouse" issues.

When still alive, my wife's GM pension(also a "medical" retirement) and her Social Security payments were a large part of our combined income.  After her death, SS completely cut off her payments.  Not even anything for the "surviving spouse".  At least GM sends me, as the surviving spouse, a monthly check for 65% of her pension. 

Sepiatone

You might want to follow up with the SSA in person to check on survivors benefits.   It's complicated, as there are so many rules and formulas, and disability only further complicates it, but it sounds like there was an error.

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I asked at the time(when I went to the SS office to report her death and give a copy of the certificate) and was told it was because I too, was getting a GM pension and receiving SS payments.  If my wife's Social security was our only income(along with GM's pension) then it'd be no problem.  Sure.  My wife's younger sister, a widow of a retired GM employee, still gets his SS payments along with the 65% of his GM pension.  I don't know if the SS payments have been reduced any, but still....

Sepiatone

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30 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I really didn't understand either, but let it go.  "Gift horse" and all.....  ;)

But SS was always odd in how they considered such things.  I remember having to borrow a wheelchair in order to roll my wife into a small makeshift "courtroom" to have a judge rule in favor of her receiving SS disability.  Her diabetic peripheral Neuropathy   left her totally unable to work, but it took a judge to see that to get it across.  All the paperwork her doctors sent them didn't phase them.  Go figure.  There are several law firms advertising on TV that they'll get your SS disability for you.  Ever give them a try?  ;) 

My complaint now is the "spousal pension" thing.  As it applies to "surviving spouse" issues.

When still alive, my wife's GM pension(also a "medical" retirement) and her Social Security payments were a large part of our combined income.  After her death, SS completely cut off her payments.  Not even anything for the "surviving spouse".  At least GM sends me, as the surviving spouse, a monthly check for 65% of her pension. 

Sepiatone

She received a SS pension based on her earned benefits contributing to SS.  Therefore when she passed on the benefits/pension terminated.  Just as yours would terminate if you had died first.  My understanding is that you can draw the larger of the two SS pensions, hers or yours.  Not both as there is only one person.

Your GM pension was established by a union whereas the SS pension program was established by Congress with input from lobbying groups.

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That should be}  "She received an SS pension"  ;)

Actually, she was already receiving SS benefit when we went to court.  The disability increase wasn't really a great amount.  It was the principle of the thing we fought for.  She was totally disabled and deserved it.  Her GM disability pension wasn't that much due to her lack of seniority at the time.  She only had 22 years in at the time.   However too,  her time at GM started AFTER several accumulated years working for S.S. Kresge,  Johnson  Tools and a wide variety of places since she was 14.   She was a month short of turning 62 when she was medically retired from GM in 2003.  

I still think a "surviving spouse" should still collect acertain percentage(if not all) of the deceased spouse's SS benefit  But in my case I understand it was mostly due to my still also getting a GM pension along with my SS allotment.  But in the case where two married persons are collecting SS and one dies, the surviving spouse should still get the deceased spouse's benefit.  

There was a big flap made about such things on some early '70's ALL IN THE FAMILY episodes in which character actor BURT MUSTIN and actress  RUTH McDEVITT   played an elderly couple living together("in SIN" to Archie's chagrin) instead of getting married due to the woman's SS benefits would be eliminated if they married.  It did play a huge part in getting that regulation changed.  With many elderly couples, even to this day, the SS monthly checks are the only income they receive due to no pension coming from any previous employers.  Eliminating half of that income when one dies seems unfairly forcing the survivor into hardship.  IMHO.

Sepiatone

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

With many elderly couples, even to this day, the SS monthly checks are the only income they receive due to no pension coming from any previous employers.  Eliminating half of that income when one dies seems unfairly forcing the survivor into hardship.  IMHO.

Sepiatone

I understand where you are coming from, but there is only so much money in the SS "Trust Fund."  Which actually is mostly a transfer of funds from current workers to retired workers.  

While your SS benefits decreased due to your wife's death, so did your living expenses.  Same with most retirees.  

When SS was created it was supposed to supplement the person's savings or other sources of income.  It was not payable until age 65 and was solely for the person who made the contributions.  Then Congress added all the other payouts I mentioned back a few posts.  Bottom line, there ain't enough money for everything - unless you have a massive increase in amount current workers and their employers have to pay.   

As I said before, what the UAW got for its workers at GM, etc. is not what Congress decided to do with the Social Security contributions it was collecting.  

You could contact your Congressional delegation re: changing the rules, but they won't.

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21 hours ago, ElCid said:

 

While your SS benefits decreased due to your wife's death, so did your living expenses.  Same with most retirees.  

 

Really?  Odd, but I didn't notice a drop in my mortgage payment.  Gasoline prices still vary from time to time, but my utility rates stayed the same(gas, lights, water)  In fact, my house note increased due to an increase in city property taxes, which calls for an increase in my escrow account share of the monthly note.  Plus, as I get older my doctor visits increase, which means more co-pay payments, and too, possible co-pays for prescriptions.   But I get it.  SS bases it all on assumptions made based on an "average" that really doesn't apply for all SS recipients.  If they did it on a "case by case" method, some would get more per month while others would get less. 

Sepiatone

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23 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Really?  Odd, but I didn't notice a drop in my mortgage payment.  Gasoline prices still vary from time to time, but my utility rates stayed the same(gas, lights, water)  In fact, my house note increased due to an increase in city property taxes, which calls for an increase in my escrow account share of the monthly note.  Plus, as I get older my doctor visits increase, which means more co-pay payments, and too, possible co-pays for prescriptions.   But I get it.  SS bases it all on assumptions made based on an "average" that really doesn't apply for all SS recipients.  If they did it on a "case by case" method, some would get more per month while others would get less. 

Sepiatone

You no longer have expenses for medical, food, clothing, gasoline, 2nd vehicle, insurance and other expenses for your wife.

If you need more than SS provides, you can apply for SSI.  But with your income I doubt you will qualify.

SS is an earned benefit based on what you contributed and when you retired.  So, it should be the same for everyone based on what they put into the system.  It every widow/widower received benefits for deceased spouse, it would add a $trillion to the payouts.  Workers would probably have to pony up another 25% of their pay in SS withholding.

We have a couple of annuities and they end when the recipient dies.  Same principal. 

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9 minutes ago, ElCid said:

You no longer have expenses for medical, food, clothing, gasoline, 2nd vehicle, insurance and other expenses for your wife.

If you need more than SS provides, you can apply for SSI.  But with your income I doubt you will qualify.

SS is an earned benefit based on what you contributed and when you retired.  So, it should be the same for everyone based on what they put into the system.  It every widow/widower received benefits for deceased spouse, it would add a $trillion to the payouts.  Workers would probably have to pony up another 25% of their pay in SS withholding.

We have a couple of annuities and they end when the recipient dies.  Same principal. 

The key factor is the your top 35 years of earnings up to age 60.  It's called the Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME).  They use an inflation-adjusted figure to do the calculations, based on the year you turn 60 and increase your earlier earnings to that base.   That becomes the basis for the calculation to get your monthly benefit.

https://www.thebalance.com/social-security-benefits-calculation-guide-2388927

Unless you're self-employed, your employer chipped in half into the OASDI pot.  

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2 minutes ago, ElCid said:

You no longer have expenses for medical, food, clothing, gasoline, 2nd vehicle, insurance and other expenses for your wife.

 

Seems you too, are basing your arguments on assumptions.   For the last two years my wife was on a liquid protein diet fed to her through a PEG-tube in which the "food" provided was entirely covered by HER OWN BC/BS medicare plus PPO policy as a GM retiree.  And with only one car to insure(plus no extra gasoline expenditure)  The reduction in "expenses" when she passed were FAR less than the reduction in SS benefits.  And clothing?   By the time my wife had her stroke she had long before accumulated enough clothing  to last her well into her 80's.  Any clothing bought since then would have been more considered luxuries than necessities.   

Sepiatone

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23 hours ago, ElCid said:

While your SS benefits decreased due to your wife's death, so did your living expenses.  Same with most retirees.  

I don't think that statement is technically correct.   (but it might depend on how one defines "your").

 My understanding is that for married couples,  that both contributed to SS  (since they both worked over the years),   each receive their own SS check (once they qualify, e.g. are 65).    

When one of the married party dies,  the remaining one can collect the higher of the two SS benefits (typically that was the widowed wife,   receiving her deceased husband's higher SS benefit amount).         

Therefor for a married couple "your SS benefits" can't decrease.    Of course if you meant "your SS benefits" to be the combined sum of the husband's and wife's SS check than yea,  that will decrease.     

 

 

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

Seems you too, are basing your arguments on assumptions.   For the last two years my wife was on a liquid protein diet fed to her through a PEG-tube in which the "food" provided was entirely covered by HER OWN BC/BS medicare plus PPO policy as a GM retiree.  And with only one car to insure(plus no extra gasoline expenditure)  The reduction in "expenses" when she passed were FAR less than the reduction in SS benefits.  And clothing?   By the time my wife had her stroke she had long before accumulated enough clothing  to last her well into her 80's.  Any clothing bought since then would have been more considered luxuries than necessities.   

Sepiatone

The point of Social Security is to provide a supplemental income for the person who made the contributions to the system, not support someone else in the lifestyle they want by providing benefits from TWO people when one has died.  You receive SS and a GM pension and 65% of your wife's GM pension.

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5 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I don't think that statement is technically correct.   (but it might depend on how one defines "your").

 My understanding is that for married couples,  that both contributed to SS  (since they both worked over the years),   each receive their own SS check (once they qualify, e.g. are 65).    

When one of the married party dies,  the remaining one can collect the higher of the two SS benefits (typically that was the widowed wife,   receiving her deceased husband's higher SS benefit amount).         

Therefor for a married couple "your SS benefits" can't decrease.    Of course if you meant "your SS benefits" to be the combined sum of the husband's and wife's SS check than yea,  that will decrease.     

 

 

Exactly.  Sepiatone believes he should get both his benefits and his wife's even though she is deceased.

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1 hour ago, ElCid said:

Exactly.  Sepiatone believes he should get both his benefits and his wife's even though she is deceased.

I get it now;  I.e. he defined "yours" as the combination of both husband's and wife's SS benefits.

There is a point there in that the overall SS system was designed based on the traditional family where the Husband worked (for sure),  and wife either didn't work or if she did it was part-time or at a much lower pay rate than the husband,  and the statistical fact that most wives outlive their husband.     As I noted in this traditional situation the wife wouldn't receive much less in SS benefits once her husband died (and if she never worked,  no decrease).

Anyhow,  this is why I have advised anyone that will listen to ensure they don't have a rent or mortgage payment once both are retied or a large enough life insurance policy to pay off that fix debt off.    

As you pointed out fix debt,  like rent, being something that isn't reduced when one spouse dies and therefor could be a burden financially with only one SS check coming in.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I get it now;  I.e. he defined "yours" as the combination of both husband's and wife's SS benefits.

There is a point there in that the overall SS system was designed based on the traditional family where Husband worked (for sure),  and wife either didn't work or if the did it was part-time or at a much lower pay rate than the husband,  and the statistical fact that most wives outlive their husband.     As I noted in this traditional situation the wife wouldn't receive much less in SS benefits once her husband died (and if she never worked,  no decrease).

Anyhow,  this is why I have advised anyone that will listen to ensure they don't have a rent or mortgage payment once both are retied or a large enough life insurance policy to pay off that fix debt off.    

As you pointed out fix debt,  like rent, being something that isn't reduced when one spouse dies and therefor could be a burden financially with only one SS check coming in.

 

 

One of the problems in America is that people do not plan for retirement.  OR wait until they are 50 years old.  Also, go into big debt after they retire.  I have a friend who bought a house after he retired.  Lived in it for 7-8 years, sold it and is now building a new one.  Both mortgaged rather than paid for.   Something I would not want to do.

As for life insurance large enough to pay off a mortgage or other big debt; premiums would be huge after age 65 or 70.

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21 hours ago, ElCid said:

Exactly.  Sepiatone believes he should get both his benefits and his wife's even though she is deceased.

It's amazing how some people, when receiving more information than needed still don't get it.

I never said I should get my deceased wife's benefits IN FULL.  Personally, what I'm getting now is sufficient.  But, that's ME, and not anyone else who might(with similar expenditures)  not find it sufficient.  That's why I see nothing wrong with still paying a surviving spouse (regardless of that survivor getting SS monthly payments) some percentage of the deceased spouse's payments( Just as GM gives survivors 65%)   In another case(and not knowing the dollar amounts involved)........

My wife has another sister, a widow of a deceased GM retiree who was also collecting both  a GM pension and a monthly SS allowance.  She too, despite never having worked was also getting a monthly SS check.  I have no idea how much it was for.  However, when her husband(my brother in law Les) died,  it was shortly( a few years) after purchasing a home and two acres of land in Gladwin, MI.  His SS payments were discontinued, and she only received 65% of his GM pension.  But that and whatever she was getting from SS weren't sufficient to maintain payments for the Gladwin property, and she had to sell it and only get about four years of payments returned to her, which wasn't much in comparison to the price of the property.  His life insurance wasn't enough to pay off the property,  and she now lives in the basement of her daughter's house.  Which isn't as bad as it might sound as her son, a home improvement contractor, fixed it up kinda nice.  But still.....

And yes....   Many people who have never worked a day in their life at a job that pays wages still manage to get SS benefits.  Used to bug my Mom no end, since she had a neighbor who never worked but spent all that time pickling her brain with booze.  SHE had no trouble getting SS disability at all!  While another sister in law of mine, with poor vision due to diabetes and chronic vertigo had trouble getting consideration.  And SHE worked off and on, but still constant, until she hit 30.  

Sepiatone

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The government (taxpayers) are not responsible for people who make poor decisions nor is it responsible for providing income to support the lifestyle someone wants.

You cannot receive Social Security Disability benefits if you did not work and contribute to the system.  You can receive Supplemental Security Income for disability, but it pays for less that SS.  

If someone is 65 or over and SS is not enough, they can apply for SSI which is based on income and it will supplement their SS.

Spouses can receive SS checks for themselves if they worked and paid into SS or receive a check based on their spouses SS check.  The second is primarily for spouses who did not work.  When the spouse receiving SS dies, the surviving spouse can receive that person's full SS benefits or their own, whichever is higher, but not both.  

As I have said before whatever the UAW got GM to do is not relevant to what the US government does through SS and SSI.  Thousands of people lost their jobs because of how much GM and other automobile companies had to pay workers, retirees and spouses.

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