The real Social Security retirement age is already 70

A Quick Hits piece, and a nice catch from Alicia H. Munnell at MarketWatch. The actual, real, functional retirement age for Social Security is … 70 years old. The logic is impeccable.

Your bottom line — The full Social Security benefit is pegged to a “retirement age” that’s many years after most people retire.

Your other bottom line — Who needs a Grand Bargain? You’re already being screwed by Social Security. Thanks to every Democratic and Republican politician who keeps taxes low for Your Betters.

The next time you’re at a private jet airport (where no one’s daughter gets porn-scanned), thank David Koch and Robert Rubin for the gift of Catfood for your Gran. Really, shake their hand. They’re responsible.

The details

Here’s Ms. Munnell with the story (my emphasis):

Social Security’s retirement age is 70.  The simple fact is that monthly benefits are highest at age 70 and are reduced actuarially for each year they are claimed before age 70.  This is a relatively new development, which may explain why Social Security’s retirement age is the best-kept secret in town.  But I think it’s time we told folks. And then we need to clarify what all this talk about raising the so-called full retirement age really means. …

Currently workers can claim their benefits at any time between 62 and 70.  But benefits claimed before age 70 are actuarially reduced.  That is, benefits claimed at younger ages are lower by an amount that compensates for the fact that they start earlier and will be paid for more years.

The goal is to ensure that, based on average life expectancy, people who take a lower benefit early would expect to receive about the same total amount in benefits over their lifetimes as those who wait for higher monthly benefits but start receiving them later.  In other words, the claiming age affects monthly benefits but, on average, does not alter total benefits paid over the lifetime.

So, we have a benefit structure that pays full benefits at an age when most people have stopped working.  We have set that age at 70If you claim after 70, lifetime benefits decline, because monthly benefits are not increased for claiming after 70.  If you claim before 70, your monthly benefit is significantly lower.

Reread that and think it through. Your max benefits are only available if you claim at age 70, but most people retire earlier. You’re therefore punished (actuarially) if you claim when you retire. Huh. Wasn’t always so, as she documents.

On the other hand, tax-coddled billionaires can still afford that 12th cottage in France (the 11th was in so the wrong département, and drafty) as they hire your replacement in China. “Job-creators,” don’t you know.

Class war? Can’t be — this is America

As the writer says: “Most people don’t understand how much claiming early reduces monthly benefits.” Indeed. Please do read. She gets it. This will change your thinking, especially if you think that the extra money for not claiming until age 70 is a perq. It’s not; it’s the new normal. It will cost you five years of catfood already if you wait to claim your full benefit.

But wait. Do the neoliberal Dems want you to have even less? Let’s check.

Does Class War Kitteh have his head screwed on straight? You decide.

Does Class War Kitteh have his head screwed on straight? You decide.

Hmm. Stay tuned. I sense the potential for a serious Dem misstep on this, but I could be wrong. [Rephrased for clarity.]

GP

To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • Alex Rodgers

    Later when I am older I am sure this info will come in hand, but for right now I’ll let http://www.mutualfundstore.com/ control my finances for a bit.

  • bandanajack

    pot meet kettle?

  • bandanajack

    i profoundly hope you find an opening ans seize it. i would rather be a beggar in paradise than a cog in the machine at my age. actually, i was TOTALLY ready to say fukkit and run at 62. i had been working to one degree or another since i was 15, and my co-workers were utterly inept and unqualified. i fled.

  • Whitewitch

    I am getting more confused by your postings…you see you have no idea how I live or what I do…I have “scaled down” and actually live a very meager existence (except for my dogs – which I have committed to care for as long as they are alive, one is 17, one is 9…dumping them to scale back is not a choice). I don’t live in a huge house, and I pay a rent that is much lower than most in my area. I walk to and from work. So I am not compelled to live as I do…well them I will just grab that next ice floe so your life and the life of those who are younger than me are not inconvenienced. I always find it fascinating when people assume about me what they can not know and then are rude as well.

  • bandanajack

    but you haven’t even scaled down, you posit living in the same place, renting at the same rate, probably doing everything the same as you do it now, and thinking i am recommending making less money. hardly, and i doubt that’s what most people would think of as scaling down. if i tried to live the same lifestyle (in the appropriate use of the word) as i have down in more median income areas, i would be out on my ass and hungry after the first two months of living here. instead i eat local foods and take advantage of food banks. i have rented a fixer upper (admittedly it helps that i am in a relationship with the landlord that keeps the rent a bit lower than the usual, but one does what one can, lol. i don’t have a pet, but i do foster for the humane society, doing a good deed while having companionship, and they pay for food and medical needs if any. btw, food banks or other senior resources often help by providing pet food for low income seniors. taking a boarder or becoming a boarder are also ways of scaling down. i am not suggesting you must do this, but i personally don’t understand why others don’t understand they are not compelled to do what they are doing, they are making a choice, and perhaps not the best choice for our current society.

  • Whitewitch

    In the event that I find the means (short of course of jumping on a passing ice floe) I promise I shall totally jump ship and bail on the work scene. You do get Bandanajack that working is not my desire. Can I just share with you how much I dreamed of retiring at 65….thought about it – and dreamed about volunteering during the day teaching computers at like senior centers or elementary schools. Working with sharks as I do now is not my dream! Retiring is!

  • bandanajack

    surely there is an ice floe you can hitch a ride on. while you put too fine a point on it, i do believe those of us that can find the means one way or another ought to at least consider getting out of the way of the generations coming up behind us.

  • http://www.friv2friv4.com/ friv 2

    is a very useful for later life

  • Whitewitch

    If I “scale down” my lifestyle expectations I would starve to death if I retired at the minimum age allowed to retire. I don’t own a home so I rent, the minimal rent where I live is approximately $800 for a studio…add groceries for me and the dogs, probably another 200-300 a month, then medical payments, then utilities (not even thinking of having cable as that would be far to expensive for someone in my “bracket” – and I am flat broke with no expectation at all for any lifestyle.

  • Whitewitch

    So – in your humble opinion – I should just quit working – so others may have my job – and live on nothing. You are an odd person.

  • bandanajack

    i have to ask, seriously, in today’s stressful world, whatever makes you think you will live until you are 72, even allowing for favorable genetics, people fall down stairs, get mugged and get hit by buses every day. to me it makes more sense to scale down lifestyle expectations and get some chill time in before the clock strikes dead.

  • bandanajack

    of course in the meantime you are (possibly) occupying a position that could be held by someone further back in the employment chain, and who would be taking fewer of your employers personnel expenses. the longer septuagenarians stay in the work force, the fewer job openings for those just starting their family life.

  • bandanajack

    i had actually dated that break from the PATCO massacre, but six of one, etc.

  • bandanajack

    am i the only one left who envisioned a life free of psychotic bosses and neurotic co-workers spent lolling by the beach, even if i had to sell trinkets to achieve it??

  • bandanajack

    precisely what i have witnessed far too many times. and you can bet the reason they have “incentives” for delay is the real possibility of never having to pay them thanks to the unplanned demise of the beneficiary of said greater benefits.

  • Chris Herz

    This is true; it is time to take the offensive against the crooks who are wrecking our country, and it is not Grandma.

  • fletcher

    Some years ago when he was still a Congressman, Dick Armey introduced a bill to move the Social Security qualification age to 75. In that the Democrats controlled Congress at that time, the bill got nowhere.

  • Mocas Dad

    And yet, supposed uber-liberal Chellie Pingree still adamantly refuses to sign Grayson-Takano. Patty Murray and 8 other dems are onboard in the Senate, and you know 41dems won’t mount a filibuster. Looking like dem betrayal will be our xmas gift this year…in return for worthless loophole reform. Those loophole closures will have the shelf life of fresh mushrooms

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Yup. I’m 59 and have come to the conclusion that I’ll probably be working ’till I drop, barring some miracle.

    I remember when I was growing up that the vision of the future was the automated working world. Ordinary poeple would make more money and have more time to enjoy it. The 40-hour work week was supposed to be trimmed to 30 or less as a result of automation. It was billed as the “leisure society”. Yeah, right!

    Now it seems that in order to just make enough to scrape by, one has to work more than 40 hours. That’s if you’re in a high-demand position. If not, you’re a part-timer and if you’re really lucky, you’ve got two jobs!

    It’s amazing that with all of the wealth in this country, we’ve gone back to treating people like we used to in the pre-union days of robber baron capitalists.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    I don’t think they have a preference for older of younger workers. In fact, I think they almost prefer younger, more physically able workers who are naive and easier to bullshit. And that’s at the local management level, the CEOs are only interested in the numbers and the bottom line that comes with it. “People are replaceable” is their motto, it seems. Unless it concerns them, of course. Then they’re irreplaceable.

    As far as old people are concerned, they really don’t seem to care. The CEO you cite exposes that attitude.

    And yes, they are greedy, soulless bastards.

  • http://buddybest.tripod.com/index.html BuddyNovinski

    I expect retirement will normally be 72 before long, simply by demographics. We baby boomers are simply too big a group, and there are not enough young workers to replace us . As technology continues to advance, it will become more important for knowledge workers to stay working. We can also Reaganomics and its welfare for the wealthy for making it necessary to keep working longer to build up money for retirement.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Funny, I’ve read a lot of what is written on the right and I’ve never seen this case made. Regardless, the ‘racism’ is really the difference in life expectancy – due to institutional racism. The policy of raising the age or retirement only exacerbates the effects of that racism.

  • Anonymoose

    Shouldn’t the real retirement age rise with life expectancy?

  • Tor

    I really think it sucks that the baby boomers still have to depend on the greatest generation. My siblings and I thank our parents for being understanding and generous, even as we got well beyond the point of “dependency.”

    And than you, Lilyannerose.

  • Tor

    Smart living. My best friend was going to retire and start claiming SS at age 66. He passed away from a very fast cancer at 65 and 4 months.

  • Tor

    My father lived to age 97, My mother is still going strong at 94. My uncle died one week before his 104th birthday. I know I will not be able to afford to live that long.

    Life expectancy is increasing, but the means to live that longer life are decreasing.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It makes perfect sense to me. Among the rationales behind the 40 hour work week (which was supposed to drop to 35 eventually) and retirement at 65 (or less) was that it freed up jobs for younger workers AND let people enjoy their golden years.

    We used to be a society that valued the ideals of leisure time and quality of life. Now it’s “work until you die.”

  • Whitewitch

    Thank you very very much. That was very clear and I appreciate your taking the time to explain it to me in such a clear and concise way. Based on that – I must say you seem to be correct – it does seem to be an incentive.

    I like you have worked for 40 years and paid into the program and hope to work for as long as I can – because, truthfully I can not imagine being able to live on the amount granted. I rent, don’t have a 401k or pension. Always seemed to be some place better to spend my money (braces and college for my son, etc.). So work, yes I will work until I can no longer and then I am off to Mexico!!! Where my moeny will go much further!

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You might want to back up that assertion with some facts and references.

    As for inflation — what inflation? Core rates are dead flat. The actual inflation being suffered now most by retirees is medical inflation, and weak dollar or strong, it makes no difference. It’s not like healthcare is being imported.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I haven’t forgotten. That was the beginning of the breaking of the social contract.

  • perljammer

    You know what — you’re right. I was snide and rude, and I apologize for that.

    Here’s the essence of what I was trying to get across:

    Until 1972, an individual’s SS benefit maxed out at full retirement age (at that time, 65). That year, Congress passed the Social Security Amendments, which among other things added 1% of the benefit for each year the individual delays the start of benefits, until age 70. That benefit addition was increased over the years; today I believe it’s 8%. So, if the monthly benefit at full retirement age (today, 66) is $1000, it would be $1080 at if benefit collection commences at age 67, $1160 at age 68, $1240 at age 69, and $1320 at age 70 and up (those numbers assume no COLA increases). There has been no accompanying decrease in the full retirement age benefit. I am not aware of anything to be gained by delaying the start of benefits beyond age 70.

    This is in contrast to the benefit reductions individuals suffer when choosing to start collecting benefits before they reach full retirement age. In those cases, the benefit is reduced by 5/9 of one percent for each MONTH before full retirement age, up to 36 months. If it’s more than 36 months, the benefit is further reduced by 5/12 of one percent per month (What hellish demon comes up with fractions like those, anyway?). If normal retirement age is 66 and you retire at age 62, the total reduction is 25%. Additionally, if you retire early and continue to work, the benefit is reduced further if your job pays above the current threshold. This year, that threshold is $15,120; the reduction is essentially $1 for every $2 earned above the threshold.

    As for thanking my Masters… no. There is no thanking involved. I started paying into the Social Security system over 46 years ago. I am 20 months away from full retirement age, and I will do everything within my grasp to leave as little as possible on that particular table.

  • Whitewitch

    Thanks – always wanted one of those. You know being snide and rude is not all that helpful to your cause. I really did appreciate the charts and have been looking at them trying to figure out if you are, perhaps right…but I see by the smuge on your post that it doesn’t really matter if you are right or not…cause you think you are and that is enough.

    It is always amazing to me when people thank their Masters for the wee bit of gruel they get and then ask for more thinking they might actually get some. Interesting…

  • Bill_Perdue

    Chained CPI is a form of violence inflicted on retired workers.

    Even without it we’re getting screwed and not in the good way. The feds include housing, which is flat or even deflationary in some areas with food, medical care and energy consumables which are very inflationary to arrive at a distorted figure.

    A CPI that reflects the real rises in the cost of food, medical care and energy consumables is the only fair one for retired workers.

  • VJBinCT

    Pretty much dead wrong, I’m afraid. The retirement age to get full SS benefits has been rising, yes, but for those born between 1943 and 1954 it is age 66; for those born after 1960 it is 67. After that age, if you don’t start to collect, you get a higher benefit at 8% per year more till you do. But that ends after age 70. So, I became 66 in August 2010 and could have received full benefits; but I started to collect only at the beginning of 2012 and I get 12% more than the maximum benefit. I could have held out for more, but I did the numbers and decided not to wait until age 70 when I could have maxed out on the super-benefit. See below. BTW, Between my wife and myself, SS brings in $50k and I am gaining weight. I can’t complain until age 70 1/2 when I have to tap my pension, at which point most of the SS benefit will be taxable. Oh well.

    http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/retirechart.htm

  • perljammer

    Sorry; of course the relative benefit of starting to collect Social Security at the earliest possible time is going to vary depending on individual circumstances. One size really does not fit all. And congratulations on being in the black!

  • soleri

    It’s actually one of the right’s most common talking points. Blacks males have lower life expectancies, therefore, SS is racist. It’s a typical kind of mind-fuck coming from conservatives – essentially a two-fer where they get to pretend they’re not only the true friends of blacks but they’re also blowing the lid off this New Deal scandal called SS. If you think blacks will do better in a privatized SS scam, raise your credulous hand.

  • lilyannerose

    What are the alternatives. I raised kids until nearly 60. After the economy crashed, even though my kids work a full 40 or more, their paychecks don’t cover what they should so many months I’m paying my rent and helping them with theirs. What is the alternative? Sure, I could be a selfish cold hearted woman and tell them they are on their own, but that’s not who I am. This economy is the devil to play and pay!

  • ronbo

    I was going to retire, then I realized, I like to eat.

  • Indigo

    And in any case, the reality of your life is that you’re consciously living it. Quality of life is far more impressive than a multitude of years of angry boredom.

  • bandanajack

    expected no, but situational imperatives determined that i must indeed find a way to live on my meager SS. and do so on oahu no less. somehow, i manage.

  • bandanajack

    that’s fine for people in that income bracket, but for those making 20k or less that 50% takeback is peanuts unless you suddenly start making more money than you ever made in your productive years. and, i add, they have upped the amount you can make without penalty since i retired, so i totally could manage, assuming i had remained healthy enough to work. i am already older than i ever expected to be, and already in the black for getting back as much as i put in.

  • bandanajack

    indigo, same here, see my post above…

  • bandanajack

    chained cpi is the one thing that can upset my carefully crafted comfortable poverty. without a COLA that truly reflects the cost of living, i get incrementally less with each adjustment, already inadequate for those in my income bracket (we don’t buy many of the products upon which COLA is based, houses, cars and other big ticket items.)

  • bandanajack

    oh, and by the way, when my ex-wife, a prodigious worker and earner reached 62, i was able to have my SS income adjusted up to half of her full retirement benefits, meaning that from 2 years ago i have been receiving almost the exact amount i would have if i had waited until 66 the relevant age when i retired. i may still be poor, but it is an elegantly achieved poverty.

  • Badgerite

    Good post. Too true.

  • bandanajack

    i took my benefits at 62 and ran. i was damned if i was going to die in the saddle. i am now 70, hence i have been receiving those reduced checks for just under 8 years, and i will probably receive them as much as 8 more, approximately, what with excellent healthcare by medicare medicaid. that is 16 years of lower payments in hand as opposed to 8 POSSIBLE years at about 30% more. i suck at math, but the last time i tried to figure it out, i am A) going to get more back than i put in in about a year, and B) going to receive more money total. had i been able to work part time as i planned (before 2 years of a mother with alzheimers wrecked my health), i would have been docked very little, something like 50 cents on the dollar when earning over $12k a year, a figure there was no way i would reach. even when that option became unavailable, i still think i took the better option for my rather basic lifestyle.

  • http://musephotos.wordpress.com/ GarySFBCN

    Odd that nobody is discussing how raising the retirement age is racist. Some races have lower life expectancy than others. The difference is pretty big in some states.

  • perljammer

    So, you’d be happier if the Social Security Amendments of 1972 had not been passed into law, and there was no benefit increase past the normal retirement age?

    Your membership card for the Don’t Confuse Me With The Facts club is in the mail.

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    They may not expect it to be enough, but most people are not saving enough for retirement. (Most can’t, truth be told, but that’s a separate issue.)

  • http://parkandbark.wordpress.com/ Houndentenor

    Same here. I will work until I am not able to. Granted I won’t be in a manual labor job where that’s not possible so 70 as a retirement age really does suck for a lot of people but there’s no reason that people with a desk job can’t work that long or longer. Look at the numbers of retirement savings. Most Americans won’t ever be about to retire, not even at 70.

  • Whitewitch

    Ohh thank you Indigo – it is a fact of life that we will die…and I, for one, look forward to the day I can sleep in late! I tell my doctor all the time to stop trying to “make me live longer”….the end game is death – that said – I do hope to live long enough to collect social security and sleep in late.

  • Indigo

    Condolences. The disturbing fact is that the longer I live the more of the people I know well are already dead. That sounds like a comedian’s routine but the truth is that it’s a plain fact of living, easily ignored.

  • Whitewitch

    Groovy chart – thanks for sharing. As I said you can “spin” the facts as incentive or as a reduction – there is no difference in the fact that you get more if you don’t retire until you are 70/72. (And by more I mean enough to maybe live on if you move to Mexico after you retire).

    It is sort of like predicting the future 20 years from now.

  • perljammer

    Right. No one really knows how long they’re going to last — if we did, society would be very different. All you can do is plan responsibly, and try not to get hit by a bus.

  • lilyannerose

    I’ve been resolved for a number of years to work until 70 or over, what’s the choice? As long as I stay healthy I plan on working. Even at 70 I can still see wanting, at least, some part time hours, mainly because the more engaged you stay the better your health seems to be!

  • perljammer

    I would really like to see the evidence upon which you base your assertion. That’s unlikely to happen, because there isn’t any such evidence.

    You seem to think that what used to be the benefit at “full retirement age” is now the benefit at age 70, and the “full retirement age” benefit has been reduced. That is absolutely not the case. If it were the case, it would show up as a noticeable decrease in the maximum benefit payable to individuals who retired at age 65 from year 1971 to year 1972 (when the incentive for delay went into effect). It does not, and here’s the evidence: http://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/supplement/2010/2a20-2a28.html#table2.a28

  • Outspoken1

    Not to sound too philosophical – but don’t wish your life away. What we really want is an earlier retirement age – not a later one so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor while we have a better chance of having health and time to do so.

  • Whitewitch

    I get that report too…weird – I better double check – two years earlier would be cool.

  • Outspoken1

    Funny things – this was done in 1983, under President Reagan. For more info, see http://www.ssa.gov/pressoffice/IncRetAge.html

  • GaiusPublius

    Just scare stuff, guest1. You need to get the mechanisms right.

    Weakening the dollar would be great for exports, which would be great for the whole economy, including retirees. The only reason “weakening the dollar” even comes up is the word “weaken” which is used to frighten people, especially Testosterone types.

    Weakening a currency is *the* classic way for a country to recover, in fact. It’s how Argentina did it, and it’s why Spain can’t (the don’t have their own currency any more to weaken).

    About inflation, what inflation? Please do point it out. (The fact is, we’re not going to see inflation or higher interest rates for another 5-10 years, which is killing retirees, because there’s no way to earn money on a fixed income. Check out what T-Bills are paying these days. If you get your way (I suspect you’re pro-austerity), the country will never get off that floor.)

    Thanks for the comment though.

    GP

  • otto42

    Every 6 months or so I get an update from SS. That is the age given to me by Social Security for full retirement.

  • Indigo

    I would be surprised by anyone who expects Social Security alone to be enough for their living expenses. As for actuarial tables, the longer we live, the longer our lifetime expectation becomes. It’s a statistical game, naturally enough. But an indicator nevertheless. I have already outlived almost everyone I knew.

  • Whitewitch

    I think you better check those numbers again, my full benefit does not start until 72, although I too can “retire” at a reduced benefit at 66 years, 6 months…. Hence the reason I am working till I am 72….plus you can work without reducing your benefit at that age. Sorry for the bad news Otto.

  • Whitewitch

    And then there are those who do not live to retirement i.e., my sister (deceased age 34), my husband’s brother (deceased age 60), my husband’s father (deceased age 60) as well as a myriad of my generation who never made it to retirement because of AIDS, bad medical care, living fast and hard, etc. So you can not base your life expectancy on your family my friend.

  • Whitewitch

    Nice spin my friend. When a benefit was not an “incentive” in previous years, and there was not decrease in benefit AND NOW, there is an “incentive” for waiting, but the benefit for not waiting is less than it was in past years – we call that a REDUCTION…see how that works with math and stuff!

  • Whitewitch

    Anyone who is actually planning on retiring already knows this. I plan to work to 72, because according to Social Security I will get a much higher monthly check, then if I elected to retire at 67 (or what used to be 62 for previous generations). Heck – I can not even retire at 65. So my plan is to work until I am 72…period. That is the only plan I can have – oh yeah and hope that Social Security is still around in 12 years – when I hit 72 – and that President Obama does not give it away between then an now in exchange for some shiny trinket from the Republicans.

  • perljammer

    Well, maybe. Social Security benefits are based upon the individual’s average monthly income using the highest 35 years of “indexed” income, not on lifetime earnings. The odds of measurably affecting that average with a few years of work after age 62 are not great.

    By the way, it’s not clear to me from reviewing the information on ssa.gov that your benefit can change (other than via COLA adjustment) once you start collecting.

  • guest1

    weakening the dollar is bad for retirement and SS, everyone seems to ignore inflation

  • lynchie

    The 1% doesn’t want you to be able to retire. Aged population needing to work is a huge benefit for the Walmart’s of the world. They want you having to work so that part time job is a necessity. Getting mature, no heavy binge drinking, no non=stable workers, is what they want. So how to do it. simple cut their benefits on SS, cut Medicare, force everyone to have insurance (yes, I do understand the benefits for those with no insurance) that takes the pressure off the company to provide it. It is not unlike the loss of company pensions which were replaced with 401K’s (which most companies don’t contribute a dime to). The CEO of the company was asked why we were one of the only Fortune 500 company to offer matching funds or any contribution. His answer “if you want to retire save your fucking money”. Keep pushing the cost of workers onto the worker. Raise his % of insurance, raise the out of pocket, cut SS, cut Medicare. Profit, Profit, Profit. Greedy bastards.

  • gratuitous

    How did we get to this point, anyway? Maybe it’s time for a national conversation on how we have structured things for people at the conclusion of their working lives. Did we, as a nation, decide that people should basically work themselves to near death, retire at 62 or 65 or 70, and dodder off into the so-called Golden Years unable to enjoy life as we once did? Where is the proposal to lower the retirement age? It’s not like anyone’s living the high life on Social Security benefits anyway. Let people stop working at 60, get a “living wage” monthly benefit ($2,000-$2,500), and we’ll pay for it by raising or eliminating the cap on Social Security earnings.

    This will also have the salutary effect of opening up jobs for newcomers to the work force. Perhaps we could have a “phasing out” period for workers as they approach retirement, passing on the benefit of their experience to the younger folks coming in. But, I suppose that kind of security enjoyed nationally would hurt our national security, or something. Secure, comfortable citizens aren’t quite so easy to frighten, and how will that work out for the Masters of the Universe who need a buffaloed populace to extract more Wealth from the Labor of others?

    Crazy talk. Never mind.

  • nicho

    But if you do take a job, your SS income is docked, as you not, but the money you make is counted toward your lifetime earnings — and your SS payment will increase as a result.

  • perljammer

    That works fine so long as you don’t decide (or need) to take a job to supplement your retirement income. This year, you get a $1.00 SS reduction for every $2.00 earned over $15,120 and under $40,080, and a $1.00 reduction for every $3.00 earned over $40,080. The lower threshold is roughly equivalent to a full-time, federal minimum wage job.

  • Bill_Perdue

    There’s a concerted attack on Social Security and Medicare led by both parties. Part of it centers around raising the age of retirement, part on Obama’s chained CPI scam and part on cutting benefits over time.

    Obama is taking the lead in efforts to gut Social Security, supported by Reid and Pelosi. “Obama plans to cut between $200 billion and $380 billion more from Social Security and Medicare than Republicans in the next ten years. … it’s easy to get the impression that the president hasn’t met Republicans half-way with his cuts to Medicare and Social Security, the two biggest entitlement programs. In fact, he’s exceeded them. The president’s budget would spend less on both Medicare and Social Security than Ryan’s GOP plan over the next ten years.

    On Social Security: Ryan didn’t cut Social Security by a penny. The president has proposed cutting the program’s spending by $130 billion, by adopting a slower-growing measure of inflation. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/04/reality-check-obama-cuts-social-security-and-medicare-by-much-more-than-the-gop/274919/

    Using Obama’s chained CPI scam COLA’s would be drastically decreased by by undervaluing the the Consumer Price Index. Obama’s plan “cuts benefits more with every passing year. After 10 years, your benefits would be cut by about $500 a year for the average retiree. After 20 years, your benefits would be cut by about $1,000 a year.”

    It hits today’s Social Security beneficiaries. Politicians like to say that their cuts to Social Security will not affect those getting benefits today. Wrong! Switching to the chained-CPI would hit all current beneficiaries.

    http://www.strengthensocialsecurity.org/colacut

    Obama advocated gutting Social Security and Medicare before his first election in 2008 and hasn’t changed his mind since. Obama is now to the right of Republicans currently and historically. Democrats and Republicans are the enemies of workers and retired workers.

    Socialists want all wages and incomes for retirees, students, single heads of families to be based on high union wages levels and we want socialized medicine. We want higher COLAS and higher payments people on Social Security. To get them we’ll have to abandon the ruling class criminals and their Democrat and Republican lap dogs, create workers parties and then a workers state.

  • nicho

    Same here. I took retirement at 64. I ran the number also and found that I would have to live to 86 or 87 to make up the difference.

  • perljammer

    While the numbers in this story are true, the presentation is misleading. “Full retirement age” is the age at which you can start receiving your benefit without any penalties or reductions due to other income sources. The benefit difference between full retirement age and age 70 is not a penalty imposed for applying “early”; it is an incentive for waiting additional years to start receiving benefits.

    Prior to 1972, there was no benefit increase for waiting past full retirement age. Your benefit at full retirement age was as high as the benefit could get, regardless of how long after that you waited to apply.

  • Indigo

    True. Factual. Incomplete. I took my S.S. at age 62 after running the numbers and finding that I’d be 84 before I made up the difference saved by waiting until 65. Since the actuarial tables give me a life expectancy of 84.6, I don’t see where a hundred and a half more dollars makes much of a big deal.

  • otto42

    I’ve known for years that I can’t get full benefits unless I retire at 66years, 6 months. and I’m 56 now. So it’s another 10.5 years for me. I wish it were 5. :-(

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