Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Fix Social Security

Not pretending this is a comprehensive fix for Social Security but everyone agrees it needs to be fixed so I am offering five easy steps to starting the process. I feel these five steps meet the criteria of being both fair and common-sense based.

1. Institute means testing. Warren Buffett says he wants to pay more taxes - OK let's start with his Social Security. When Social Security was instituted it was meant as a safety net for our nation's elderly. It was not meant to be a retirement account. As a safety net - it is an acceptable concept. As a retirement plan - it is a Ponzi scheme. I'd suggest a means test of say 10-times the poverty level - so a couple making over $220,000 would not be eligible for Social Security payments.

2. Raise the retirement age for people 45-years and under from 65 to 67. Realistic people are wondering if they will be able to retire at all. Given the changes in life-expectancy and financial realities - I don't think raising the age to 67 is asking too much.

3. Raise the retirement age for people 35-years and under from 65 to 70. Few people this age are even thinking retirement. Again - people this age will be enjoying benefits in medicine and technology 35-years from now that are probably unthinkable today.

4. Require any naturalized citizen to have paid into the Social Security system for a minimum of 10-years before being eligible for Social Security benefits.

5. Create Health Savings Accounts (HSA) where any un-used funds at the end of the year can be moved tax free into 401-K or IRA accounts. This would help with retirement planning for younger people and would would have many additonal benfits.

Anyway - that's my five easy steps towards helping to fix Social Security.

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