Discussion:
OT: Happy New Year All
(too old to reply)
Lucretia Borgia
2004-12-31 19:17:36 UTC
Permalink
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.

Sheena
Stitcher
2004-12-31 21:35:06 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:17:36 GMT, Lucretia Borgia
Post by Lucretia Borgia
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.
Sheena
Hope you all have a healthy, happy 2005
Cheers,
ruby
Pat P
2004-12-31 21:54:32 UTC
Permalink
Same to you two - and each and every one of you! I`m not making and NY
resolutions - I never keep `em!

Pat P
--
East Anglian Xstitch
http://homepages.tesco.net/~porter
Post by Stitcher
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:17:36 GMT, Lucretia Borgia
Post by Lucretia Borgia
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.
Sheena
Hope you all have a healthy, happy 2005
Cheers,
ruby
Jan Lennie
2005-01-01 01:13:52 UTC
Permalink
Happy New Year to all
Jan ( 1.13 am UK)
Post by Stitcher
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:17:36 GMT, Lucretia Borgia
Post by Lucretia Borgia
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.
Sheena
Hope you all have a healthy, happy 2005
Cheers,
ruby
Lucille
2005-01-01 01:43:05 UTC
Permalink
My wish for everyone is for a Happy, Healthy New Year in a World of Peace.
Lucille
Post by Jan Lennie
Happy New Year to all
Jan ( 1.13 am UK)
Post by Stitcher
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:17:36 GMT, Lucretia Borgia
Post by Lucretia Borgia
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.
Sheena
Hope you all have a healthy, happy 2005
Cheers,
ruby
Gillian Murray
2005-01-01 03:05:27 UTC
Permalink
Love you all, and I am feeling so blessed that I have met at least a
half-dozen of this group. We are such a wondeful lot of people!!

Have a thankful New Year, and may you be safe and healthy.

Hugs to all

Gillian
Post by Jan Lennie
Happy New Year to all
Jan ( 1.13 am UK)
Post by Stitcher
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 19:17:36 GMT, Lucretia Borgia
Post by Lucretia Borgia
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.
Sheena
Hope you all have a healthy, happy 2005
Cheers,
ruby
Cheryl Isaak
2004-12-31 22:52:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lucretia Borgia
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.
Sheena
And to you too!

Cheryl
Darla
2005-01-01 05:13:11 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 17:52:00 -0500, Cheryl Isaak
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Lucretia Borgia
In order to catch the European people, here's wishing you all the best
in 2005.
Sheena
And to you too!
Cheryl
What's left but "Me, too!"? To all y'all.
Darla
Sacred cows make great hamburgers.
Picture Trail Gallery: www.picturetrail.com User Name: Condorita
www.sisquoc.blog-city.com
Get naked to respond.
Saphira D Eragon
2005-01-01 07:23:48 UTC
Permalink
Happy New Year from Binghamton, NY, USA

Isabel
--
WIPS:

Families Are Like Quilts by Bucilla
Pet Shop by Bucilla
Wishing Star Birth Announcement (Pooh; Characters by Disney)
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-01 14:21:19 UTC
Permalink
I've always wondered why they call the New Year HAPPY?

It's a time of closing out the books, the bottom line is the bottom
line.
The next four months consists of not much more than working for Uncle
Sam doing the mountains of tax paperwork associated with all of it.

I don't see the New Year as being HAPPY until MAY finally rolls around
taxes paid and some of that long green starts hitting your own hip
national bank!

Of course, if you spend any of it, it's taxed again!
And if you buy something considered an asset, the taxes never end.

Isn't there a law against tax on tax?

And oh yea, Income tax is a VOLUNTARY Tax! Yeah right.

TTUL
Gary
Lucretia Borgia
2005-01-01 14:55:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
I've always wondered why they call the New Year HAPPY?
It's a time of closing out the books, the bottom line is the bottom
line.
The next four months consists of not much more than working for Uncle
Sam doing the mountains of tax paperwork associated with all of it.
I don't see the New Year as being HAPPY until MAY finally rolls around
taxes paid and some of that long green starts hitting your own hip
national bank!
Of course, if you spend any of it, it's taxed again!
And if you buy something considered an asset, the taxes never end.
Isn't there a law against tax on tax?
And oh yea, Income tax is a VOLUNTARY Tax! Yeah right.
TTUL
Gary
Gosh thanks Gary for that note of hope ! Maybe it is meant that the
governments are to have a Happy New Year, rather than it's taxees ??

Sheena
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-02 19:00:43 UTC
Permalink
Hi Sheena

Well, if you could spend a year in office and retire at full pay for
the rest of your life, you'd be HAPPY TOO!

I would like to see politicians live on Social Security like the rest
of us. Maybe they would FIX it real QUICK then!

TTUL
Gary
Post by Lucretia Borgia
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
I've always wondered why they call the New Year HAPPY?
It's a time of closing out the books, the bottom line is the bottom
line.
The next four months consists of not much more than working for Uncle
Sam doing the mountains of tax paperwork associated with all of it.
I don't see the New Year as being HAPPY until MAY finally rolls around
taxes paid and some of that long green starts hitting your own hip
national bank!
Of course, if you spend any of it, it's taxed again!
And if you buy something considered an asset, the taxes never end.
Isn't there a law against tax on tax?
And oh yea, Income tax is a VOLUNTARY Tax! Yeah right.
TTUL
Gary
Gosh thanks Gary for that note of hope ! Maybe it is meant that the
governments are to have a Happy New Year, rather than it's taxees ??
Sheena
Lucretia Borgia
2005-01-02 19:11:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Sheena
Well, if you could spend a year in office and retire at full pay for
the rest of your life, you'd be HAPPY TOO!
I would like to see politicians live on Social Security like the rest
of us. Maybe they would FIX it real QUICK then!
TTUL
Gary
Too true. It seems they get into office and then lose touch with
people and reality, in the main, there are the exceptions of course,
but precious few.
Gillian Murray
2005-01-02 21:41:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lucretia Borgia
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Sheena
Well, if you could spend a year in office and retire at full pay for
the rest of your life, you'd be HAPPY TOO!
I would like to see politicians live on Social Security like the rest
of us. Maybe they would FIX it real QUICK then!
TTUL
Gary
Too true. It seems they get into office and then lose touch with
people and reality, in the main, there are the exceptions of course,
but precious few.
However, remember Gary, that the purpose of Social Security was to cover
theBASIC needs of life. Not the life we would like to live, and not the
toys.

My MIL worked her entire life as a Dining room hostess, cocktail bar manager
etc in ritzy hotels. Did she declare tips, obviously not. ( It was none of
their business is her answer). Now, because of that failure to pay into the
system, she lives with us and has $450 US ( less Medicare premium) a month.
IF she had been honest, she would have a much larger Social Security check.
Before you ask about getting the husband's basic, he was the chef, and never
declared income. I am sorry, but I have no pity at all for people like the
MIL who has evaded the system all her life. As a point of interest, she is
now our dependent, because her nominal $100 a month to the Housekeeping
account covers zilch!!

In Canada, things are different. here in the US it is up to individuals who
work the way MIL did to declare the tips as taxable income.

Gillian
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-03 16:30:27 UTC
Permalink
Hi Gillian
Post by Gillian Murray
However, remember Gary, that the purpose of Social Security was to cover
theBASIC needs of life. Not the life we would like to live, and not the
toys.
I both understand and agree to that purpose for Social Security!

Unfortunately, Social Security is NOT ENOUGH to cover even the barest
of necessities for someone who worked AND PAID into the system their
entire lives.

My mother has to sell her home and move because Social Security is NOT
ENOUGH to cover even her health insurance and real estate taxes, much
less leave anything left over for food and utilities.

My MIL's Social Security don't even cover her cost for health
insurance. She would have lost her small home too after her savings
finally ran out, if family would not have bought it from her and let
her still live there rent and utility free.

People who thrive on Welfare make exponentially more money than those
who paid into the system their whole lives through Social Security.
WHY?

I knew a family personally that for the entire 7 years I knew them
received over $1,800.00 per month through various government entities,
none of which did they ever contribute to EVER.

While those who worked their entire lives, PAID into the system their
whole lives, end up losing their paid for homes because of exhorbitant
taxes, high medical insurance costs, and the low amount paid by Social
Security.
Post by Gillian Murray
My MIL worked her entire life as a Dining room hostess, cocktail bar manager
etc in ritzy hotels. Did she declare tips, obviously not. ( It was none of
their business is her answer). Now, because of that failure to pay into the
system, she lives with us and has $450 US ( less Medicare premium) a month.
IF she had been honest, she would have a much larger Social Security check.
Before you ask about getting the husband's basic, he was the chef, and never
declared income. I am sorry, but I have no pity at all for people like the
MIL who has evaded the system all her life. As a point of interest, she is
now our dependent, because her nominal $100 a month to the Housekeeping
account covers zilch!!
Your MIL would have still received a paycheck, of which FICA would
have been deducted from her salary and DOUBLE that amount would have
been paid into Social Security by her employer.
I don't know how she kept from being Audited showing only salary with
no tips, so she must have claimed some of them.

As far as her husband, I have no idea how he landed a job as a chef
for a company that did not report payroll as an valid expense. If he
didn't report his earnings, he should be in jail for income tax
evasion, where he would get free housing, 3 squares a day, and the
best of medical care, all at the burden of the taxpayers.
Post by Gillian Murray
In Canada, things are different. here in the US it is up to individuals who
work the way MIL did to declare the tips as taxable income.
I agree that all valid income should be reported and the taxes paid on
same, regardless of the source of that income.

But I wonder if you KNOW that Earned Income is taxed to the employee
at 7.65 percent, deducted from their paycheck, and subsequent income
NOT paid by the employer, such as tips is taxed at 15.3 percent, JUST
for Social Security and Medicare?

Now add that 15.3 percent to your Federal Income tax percentage
bracket, if your in the 26% tax bracket, you are now paying 41.3
percent of your income, add to that all the other taxes you are hit
with, personal property, real estate, sales taxes, luxury taxes,
excise taxes, etc.

Every GREAT country all throughout history FELL when their gross tax
collections crossed the 25% mark. The USA is well over 50% and
artificially being held together by people who keep hoping it will
change for the better. But instead, it just keeps getting worse!

Think about the collective income and spending habits of ALL Americans
for a while.

Now, what would happen if EVERYONES spendable/useable income were to
be doubled?

One of two things would happen, they would either continue to live
beyond their means on credit, or they would have excess cash to put
away for retirement, to make investments, to care for their parents,
etc.

With taxes currently well over 50% of your income, is it being put to
good use? Or is it wasted and used to fill the hip national bank of
politicians.

Social Security is a government sponsored PONZI Scheme the Each and
EVERY ONE OF US are getting BURNED by.

YOU Will NEVER live long enough to collect back what you have paid
into Social Security! Medicare is taxed separately from Social
Security.

The average worker earning for example 25,000 dollars a year, amasses
over 3,000 dollars annually going into Social Security.
Paying into this system at that rate for 40 years means they have
amassed over 120,000 dollars in their pot.
The current average human lifespan is roughly 76 years of age.
If you retire at age 66 at reduced benefits of $856.00 per month
social security income and make it to 76 years old, there would still
be 15k left in your pot.
If you retired early at 62 at very reduced benefits of $625.00 per
month social security income and make it to 76 years old, there would
still be 22.5k in your pot.
If you wait until your 70 years old to retire, your increased benefit
amount of $1,200.00 per month and make it to 76 years old, there would
still be close to 50k in your pot.

There are many who do not make it to even 55 or 60 years old, what
comes of that money?

They make a lot of talk about baby boomers supporting the smaller
amount of people on social security, that will soon turn around to a
small amount trying to support the baby boomers.
WAKE UP PEOPLE, LESS THAN 2% of the population lives long enough to
collect more than they put into their OWN POT.

Now you wanna get really hairy? Add accrued/compounded interest to
the money you paid in to Social Security. The interest you would have
earned you don't get, it goes back into your pot. Thus the VALUE of
your POT is a minimum of 3 times greater or $360,000.00 minimum value.

Where Social Security is paying OUT only One thousand dollars per
month, it SHOULD BE paying out a MINIMUM of THREE thousand dollars per
month.

If you put your money into a savings account instead of social
security, you would get a monthly return 3 times greater than social
security pays.
If you invested in blue chips, you would get more than 10 times the
amount social security pays you.
AND in BOTH of the latter cases, whatever you didn't use would go to
your heirs, not to some politicians hip national bank.

WHY does Senator Gotsrocks need US to buy him 900 dollar coffee
makers, 600 dollar toilet seats, 9,000 dollar desk chairs?
When all we can afford after exhorbitant taxes are a 9 dollar coffee
pot, 6 dollar toilet seat and 90 dollar desk chair.

The Government is SUPPOSED to be working FOR US, not US working to
support their overly LAVISH lifestyles and wasteful spending.

Taxes need to be CUT WAY BACK to below a gross of 25 percent all
inclusive, while their still is a USA to pay it to!
Politicians MUST live on what they expect US to live on!

TTUL
Gary
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-03 18:41:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Unfortunately, Social Security is NOT ENOUGH to cover even the barest
of necessities for someone who worked AND PAID into the system their
entire lives.
Thank the heavens someone pointed that out.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
My mother has to sell her home and move because Social Security is NOT
ENOUGH to cover even her health insurance and real estate taxes, much
less leave anything left over for food and utilities.
All too typical these days. Not that typical 20 or so years ago.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
People who thrive on Welfare make exponentially more money than those
who paid into the system their whole lives through Social Security.
Please do not lump all welfare people by the situation of one or two.
Having been on welfare and ADC, I can attest I never had even close to
that income (even in respect to the differences of time). I was poor.
I was also one of the working "poor". Those people have never been able
to contribute enough into social security to have a reasonable
retirement, nor are they able to save anything to minimize the
difference. Life got lucky for me. For some, it never gets lucky.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Now, what would happen if EVERYONES spendable/useable income were to
be doubled?
One of two things would happen, they would either continue to live
beyond their means on credit, or they would have excess cash to put
away for retirement, to make investments, to care for their parents,
etc.
I can tell you for sure that we don't have a lot of "toys", and that if
our income went up even 20% most of that would be used to pay down debt
and put aside for retirement. NOT for adding to our stash of
materialism, which we don't have to begin with. We both could, however,
buy a new pair of shoes.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Social Security is a government sponsored PONZI Scheme the Each and
EVERY ONE OF US are getting BURNED by.
It wouldn't have been had the trust fund been invested in something
besides debt.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
They make a lot of talk about baby boomers supporting the smaller
amount of people on social security, that will soon turn around to a
small amount trying to support the baby boomers.
WAKE UP PEOPLE, LESS THAN 2% of the population lives long enough to
collect more than they put into their OWN POT.
I wonder where I can go look up that statistic you are quoting? What I
do know is that there is a skewed reasoning about the health of the
elderly. By the age of 55, most humans get some type of chronic
situation, whether that's a mild bother (cataracts and floaters or minor
arthritis) or a serious situation requiring a lot of medical
intervention. To ask us to work until we're 70 (squeezing social
security retirement age later and later) is a fool's dream.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
If you invested in blue chips, you would get more than 10 times the
amount social security pays you.
Unless and until the stock market and other funds collapse. And
interest rates at the bank are so low it's idiotic. Seems we just went
through that. Our own personal portfolio tanked. Had we been at
retirement age at the time, we would have been on the street. Don't
talk to me about private investment. :-)

Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-03 20:11:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
They make a lot of talk about baby boomers supporting the smaller
amount of people on social security, that will soon turn around to a
small amount trying to support the baby boomers.
WAKE UP PEOPLE, LESS THAN 2% of the population lives long enough to
collect more than they put into their OWN POT.
I wonder where I can go look up that statistic you are quoting?
Well, let's see if it could possibly be in the ballpark.
According to 2002 figures from the Social Security website,
the average worker who paid into OASDI put in $3420. If that
person contributed from age 25 to age 65, that would be 40 years
of contributions, which would be $136,800. The average monthly
benefit is about $815. So, let's say Mr. Average receives the
average monthly benefit from age 65 to age...hmmm...what's
the current life expectancy?...looks like if you're 65 years
old now, your life expectancy is about 18 more years, so that's
216 months at $815/month, which is $176,040. So, Mr. average
is getting more out than he put in.
Of course, you also have to compute based on the
time value of money and adjust for risk, but the numbers
you put into those equations are a lot more dicey.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-03 20:37:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Mr. Average receives the
average monthly benefit from age 65 to age...hmmm...what's
the current life expectancy?...looks like if you're 65 years
old now, your life expectancy is about 18 more years, so that's
216 months at $815/month, which is $176,040. So, Mr. average
is getting more out than he put in.
That's computing life expectancy from the age of 65. In truth, the
average life expectacy is around 73 yrs or so (or 8 more years). I
think what Gary was getting at is that most people die long before they
use up their social security. I was wondering how true that was. Hmmmm.

Dianne
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Of course, you also have to compute based on the
time value of money and adjust for risk, but the numbers
you put into those equations are a lot more dicey.
Best wishes,
Ericka
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-03 21:02:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Mr. Average receives the
average monthly benefit from age 65 to age...hmmm...what's
the current life expectancy?...looks like if you're 65 years
old now, your life expectancy is about 18 more years, so that's
216 months at $815/month, which is $176,040. So, Mr. average
is getting more out than he put in.
That's computing life expectancy from the age of 65. In truth, the
average life expectacy is around 73 yrs or so (or 8 more years). I
think what Gary was getting at is that most people die long before they
use up their social security. I was wondering how true that was. Hmmmm.
Well, I was computing for a person who was hypothetically
65 years old now. The life expectancy for someone who is 65
years old right now is 81.6 years old for men and 84.5 years
old for women, not 73 years. This may seem odd, in that
life expectancy at birth right now is lower than that, but
if you make it to 65 you've already dodged a lot of bullets
that drag the average down. But, of course, if you die
young, you won't have put as much money into the system
(and your spouse or children may qualify for dependant
benefits, though those obviously aren't as
large). So basically, if you get anything back, you're
likely to get more than you put in. If you die before
retirement age and therefore don't get anything back,
then obviously you lose--but then again, you aren't in
need of funds for your retirement either.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Lucretia Borgia
2005-01-03 21:49:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Mr. Average receives the
average monthly benefit from age 65 to age...hmmm...what's
the current life expectancy?...looks like if you're 65 years
old now, your life expectancy is about 18 more years, so that's
216 months at $815/month, which is $176,040. So, Mr. average
is getting more out than he put in.
That's computing life expectancy from the age of 65. In truth, the
average life expectacy is around 73 yrs or so (or 8 more years). I
think what Gary was getting at is that most people die long before they
use up their social security. I was wondering how true that was. Hmmmm.
Well, I was computing for a person who was hypothetically
65 years old now. The life expectancy for someone who is 65
years old right now is 81.6 years old for men and 84.5 years
old for women, not 73 years. This may seem odd, in that
life expectancy at birth right now is lower than that, but
if you make it to 65 you've already dodged a lot of bullets
that drag the average down. But, of course, if you die
young, you won't have put as much money into the system
(and your spouse or children may qualify for dependant
benefits, though those obviously aren't as
large). So basically, if you get anything back, you're
likely to get more than you put in. If you die before
retirement age and therefore don't get anything back,
then obviously you lose--but then again, you aren't in
need of funds for your retirement either.
Best wishes,
Ericka
And does it work as it does here with Old Age Assistance ? If you
have prepared and put a little away, or have a pension, then although
they pay it to you, they claw it back through taxes ? In which case,
you have to allow for those who paid in but will never (through
prudence) receive.
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-03 23:40:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lucretia Borgia
And does it work as it does here with Old Age Assistance ? If you
have prepared and put a little away, or have a pension, then although
they pay it to you, they claw it back through taxes ?
It depends on how you've invested and what sort of
income you have. Income is taxed even if you're at retirement
age, but you may not be in the same tax bracket, and different
types of investment income have different tax implications.
Some are tax free, some are taxed at different rates than
earned income, and others are taxed as income.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-04 13:04:19 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ericka

WHERE are you getting your Mortality rates from?

I have checked most of the reputable sources and NONE of them are
anywhere near the figures you have given.
I am assuming of course those figures you presented are for the USA.

According to the World Health Organization, Life Expectancy has not
only leveled off from it's past multi-year rise, but currently seems
to be decreasing in the USA, mainly due to the newer uncurable
diseases and obesity.

We know some people live to be over 100 years old, and some die in
childhood years. The standard Mortality tables used by most life
insurance companies clearly reflect the Life Expectancy from birth to
death. There are numerous Mortality tables based on life expectancy
from different ages of life to death.

The Mortality table used by the Social Security Administration is one
that is based on life expectancy from Age 35 to death, which shows the
HIGHEST Life Expectancy of ALL Mortality Tables.

Considering that MOST people begin paying into Social Security at the
age of 15 years old, albeit not much at that age working part time
after skewl. But between the ages of 15 and 35 they have collectively
contributed a staggering amount into the Social Security System.
Between the ages of 21 and 35, most employed workers are fueling the
Social Security System at the maximum contribution level.
By using Mortality tables that start at age 35, they are not
accurately reflecting what comes into the system vs what goes out of
the system.

TTUL
Gary
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-04 14:06:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Ericka
WHERE are you getting your Mortality rates from?
Straight from the SSA itself, updated as of 2004,
using the expectancy for age 65. IRS says 20 years (though
due to the nature of their calculations, they're generous).
Oops, actually the first time I got the numbers from the CDC
at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/nvsr/51/51_03.htm
which says 17.9 years for the life expectancy at 65 for the
US population as a whole.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
I have checked most of the reputable sources and NONE of them are
anywhere near the figures you have given.
I dunno. I usually find the CDC fairly reliable
for this sort of information.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Considering that MOST people begin paying into Social Security at the
age of 15 years old,
? Most? According to the Department of Labor, only
9 percent of 15yos were employed, 26 percent of 16yos, and
39 percent of 17yos. Those are school year figures. Summer
figures are higher and are, respectively, 18, 36, and 48
percent. Even so, that leaves less than half of 17yos
employed and paying into Social Security (and that's assuming
all of those employed teens are paying into Social Security,
which is unlikely).
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
albeit not much at that age working part time
after skewl. But between the ages of 15 and 35 they have collectively
contributed a staggering amount into the Social Security System.
Between the ages of 21 and 35, most employed workers are fueling the
Social Security System at the maximum contribution level.
Huh? To contribute the maximum amount to SS, you have to
be making $87,900 in 2004. I *seriously* doubt that more than
half of 21-35yos are making that kind of money. In fact, average
annual wages in the US for 2003 are only $36,520. So, nowhere
*near* half of 21-35yos are making the maximum contribution.
Did you mean something else?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
By using Mortality tables that start at age 35, they are not
accurately reflecting what comes into the system vs what goes out of
the system.
Not an issue with the life expectancy information I was
using.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-05 14:52:35 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ericka

I placed a short comment by each of your responses and snipped the
rest inbetween.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Straight from the SSA itself, updated as of 2004,
using the expectancy for age 65. IRS says 20 years (though
due to the nature of their calculations, they're generous).
As you show here, they are basing this only on those who DO reach
retirement age. Of those that DID attain the age of 65 years old, YES
they can be expected to live to be 80 or older.

It totally ignores all of those who have died before reaching
retirement age!

So do you consider this a reliable figure that clearly depicts those
who have contributed vs those who receive benefits?
Post by Ericka Kammerer
? Most? According to the Department of Labor, only
9 percent of 15yos were employed, 26 percent of 16yos, and
39 percent of 17yos. Those are school year figures. Summer
figures are higher and are, respectively, 18, 36, and 48
percent. Even so, that leaves less than half of 17yos
employed and paying into Social Security (and that's assuming
all of those employed teens are paying into Social Security,
which is unlikely).
The range I used was from 15 to 35 years old, NOT 15 to 18 years old.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? To contribute the maximum amount to SS, you have to
be making $87,900 in 2004. I *seriously* doubt that more than
half of 21-35yos are making that kind of money. In fact, average
annual wages in the US for 2003 are only $36,520. So, nowhere
*near* half of 21-35yos are making the maximum contribution.
Did you mean something else?
You got me on this one!
I didn't realize they raised the income cut off amount!
When I was salaried/working it was somewhere around 50k.
5 of the 7 children I raised or partly raised all came out of college
earning over 55k a year meeting their maximum SS pay in amounts during
the years I (or my CPA) was still doing their taxes for them.

The next issue is average annual wages. Is this based on per capita,
those only over 65, or those between 21 and 55?

It's like the figure given by the government for the unemployed. They
ONLY count those individuals who are collecting unemployment.
Those who cannot collect unemployment, such as formerly self-employed
individuals who's businesses went sour on them, are not counted as
being unemployed.

When using 'averages' to determine something where many sources of
data must be combined to get the correct figure, all of those
'averages' must be from the same ranges to have any meaning at all.

People from 15 to 70 contribute to the Social Security funds.
So to get an accurate life expectancy of those contributing and those
taking out, you CANNOT use the percentage of those who MAKE IT to 65
as your starting figure as the SSA does. That ONLY gives the
percentage of those individuals who have reached retirement. It no
way reflects those who paid in that will NEVER collect.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Not an issue with the life expectancy information I was
using.
The life expectancy you were using started at age 65, by your own
information supplied above.
By the same token, using insurance figures which range from birth to
death are not accurate for calculating SSA contributions and
deductions either, because from 0 to 15 little to no contributions are
made into the SS system.

H&R Block (based only on the customers they did taxes for) published a
report in 1999 that showed the amount of taxes paid to Federal, State,
City, Personal Property and other taxes, FICA, Medicaid, etc. and
compared this to their incomes.

I wish I still had that report to get exact figures from.
I do remember that the amounts of money paid into Social Security was
staggering compared to the amounts estimated to be paid back out.

On this report, they showed the average earnings of each working
individual they did the tax forms for, which included working children
and small children with annuity and trust incomes. And retired
seniors who were still working part time for the insurance benefits.

The average income for ALL was under 26k per year.
The average income for those between 21 and 35 who itemized was very
close to 50k. While those in the same age range who could use the
short form was only just over 30k.
Those from 36 to 65 who worked full time exceeded 50k per year.

They also included the mortality rate for those who would not make it
to retirement, excluding children. In other words, the range of 15 to
65 year olds. I don't remember the percentage but it was over 15% for
sure.
This can be viewed as 15% of those paying into Social Security will
NEVER draw Social Security at all.

We know that when the SSA was formed it had ZERO Dollars.
The payments made to retiree's was taken from the income of the
currently employed contributors to the System.
The mortality rates were also much higher than they are today!
And with more workers than retirees, there was sufficient income to do
this easily and build up the SS resources.
20 years after the baby boom started, the contributions into the SS
system was 5 times greater than those receiving SS payments.
Which within 10 years or around 1970 finally brought the SSA into a
monetary balance, wherein the contributions being made were no longer
necessary to pay past generations that did not contribute to the
system. In other words, there was no longer a deficit. Only those
who contributed were getting back some of their own contributions.
After 1970 family sizes began to decrease again, so by 1990 the number
of new contributors was about 1/2 of those in the 1970's and 1980's.
This should pose absolutely no problem at all to the current and
future generations, because the SSA was in balance in 1970, with the
payouts coming from the contributors who paid into the system.

So what happened? Why is the SSA in trouble again?

They saw all that money in their accounts and began wasting YOUR
money! Trying to maintain the SSA as a Ponzi Scheme, they used YOUR
retirement funds to fuel other programs they had no business getting
involved in. This put them back into an unrecoverable deficit, unless
there is another major baby boom, which is NOT likely to happen.

To get themselves out of this mess, they use scare tactics that the
SSA is going bankrupt. People start their own IRA's KEOGH's, etc. to
insure they have a retirement income. Then they limit the amount of
income you can have after retirement in order to earn SS benefits.

Our government can give other countries trillions of dollars of OUR
tax money. Yet they fail to bring the SSA back into balance by
contributing back to the SSA what they used for other government
mandated programs.

Why? You just CANNOT trust the Government with YOUR money.
Historically, they have wasted almost every dime they get their hands
on! The current state of the SSA is a prime example of this.

TTUL
Gary
JiminyCricket
2005-01-05 16:31:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
We know that when the SSA was formed it had ZERO Dollars.
The payments made to retiree's was taken from the income of the
currently employed contributors to the System.
The mortality rates were also much higher than they are today!
And with more workers than retirees, there was sufficient income to do
this easily and build up the SS resources.
20 years after the baby boom started, the contributions into the SS
system was 5 times greater than those receiving SS payments.
Which within 10 years or around 1970 finally brought the SSA into a
monetary balance, wherein the contributions being made were no longer
necessary to pay past generations that did not contribute to the
system. In other words, there was no longer a deficit. Only those
who contributed were getting back some of their own contributions.
After 1970 family sizes began to decrease again, so by 1990 the number
of new contributors was about 1/2 of those in the 1970's and 1980's.
This should pose absolutely no problem at all to the current and
future generations, because the SSA was in balance in 1970, with the
payouts coming from the contributors who paid into the system.
So what happened? Why is the SSA in trouble again?
They saw all that money in their accounts and began wasting YOUR
money! Trying to maintain the SSA as a Ponzi Scheme, they used YOUR
retirement funds to fuel other programs they had no business getting
involved in. This put them back into an unrecoverable deficit, unless
there is another major baby boom, which is NOT likely to happen.
To get themselves out of this mess, they use scare tactics that the
SSA is going bankrupt. People start their own IRA's KEOGH's, etc. to
insure they have a retirement income. Then they limit the amount of
income you can have after retirement in order to earn SS benefits.
Our government can give other countries trillions of dollars of OUR
tax money. Yet they fail to bring the SSA back into balance by
contributing back to the SSA what they used for other government
mandated programs.
Why? You just CANNOT trust the Government with YOUR money.
Historically, they have wasted almost every dime they get their hands
on! The current state of the SSA is a prime example of this.
TTUL
Gary
Ditto...

This is why I hope that those of us under 50 can have a bit more control
over OUR $$ that goes into SSA. I have resigned myself to the fact that the
$$ that I pay right now (quite a bit since I'm a sole-proprietor business)
is churned right back out to my mother, my aunt, and any other relatives
that are drawing social security -- I'll never see a penny of it. Of course,
some of that $$ also goes to paying for things that I don't want... It would
be less wasteful for me to just send a check to mom or aunt once a quarter
(sigh).

Shutting up, getting back to work. Even with the headaches that taxes,
entitlement programs, social security gives me -- I'm blessed -- I have a
business doing what I'm good at, I have a loving and supportive husband, I
actually make enough $$ to pay taxes, and I have a closet full of
stitching/sewing/quilting/knitting/crocheting...

S

P.S. another topic... people who don't pay taxes (over the year they have
taxes deducted from their income, but in the final mathematical analysis
they get that $$ back and more) getting riled up when politicians convince
them that the rich don't pay taxes (poppycock, especially when you look at
the definition of "rich")
Brenda
2005-01-05 16:46:48 UTC
Permalink
However they do have a right to get riled if the politicians say the
rich don't pay their full share into Social Security. The lower- and
middle-income people (in general) have to pay Social Security on every
cent they earn. Higher-income people reach the cap (some VERY early in
the year) and don't have to contribute beyond that until the next year.
Drastically raising or removing the cap would go a long way toward
repairing the fund. Forcing the government to repay amounts they
"borrowed" from the fund would probably fix it.
Post by JiminyCricket
P.S. another topic... people who don't pay taxes (over the year they have
taxes deducted from their income, but in the final mathematical analysis
they get that $$ back and more) getting riled up when politicians convince
them that the rich don't pay taxes (poppycock, especially when you look at
the definition of "rich")
--
Brenda
JiminyCricket
2005-01-05 17:23:41 UTC
Permalink
Frankly, sometimes (often) I feel about social security the way I do about
helmet laws for motorcyclists...
In brief: If you don't want to wear a helmet, fine. Your insurance will cost
more than my insurance because I wear a helmet ALWAYS. If you commit fraud,
say you'll wear a helmet and don't, then your insurance pays nothing if
you're in an accident. If you don't wear a helmet, you're solely responsible
for medical/funeral expenses -- not any federal, state or local agency or
group. In other words, you make a choice and you live with/deal with the
outcomes of your choice.
For social security: I'd agree to pay up to 50% less (I won't be greedy and
say I'd pay 0%) in social security taxes, in return I never ever get a penny
from social security AND any investments that I make with that $$ are
tax-free FOREVER. I don't pay payroll/income tax on that $$, I don't pay
capital gains tax on that $$, I don't pay taxes on it when I earn it and I
don't pay taxes on it when I withdraw it after retirement (for sake of
arguement, let's use age 65). It's my earnings, I live with/deal with the
outcomes of my choices to save and invest.
And yes, I do understand that I might lose $$. And yes, I do understand that
there are many people out there who don't understand investing and would
make horrible mistakes (they can put as much $$ into social security as
they'd like if they believe that the government can/will handle their
retirement funds better than they can/will themselves).
S
Post by Brenda
However they do have a right to get riled if the politicians say the
rich don't pay their full share into Social Security. The lower- and
middle-income people (in general) have to pay Social Security on every
cent they earn. Higher-income people reach the cap (some VERY early in
the year) and don't have to contribute beyond that until the next year.
Drastically raising or removing the cap would go a long way toward
repairing the fund. Forcing the government to repay amounts they
"borrowed" from the fund would probably fix it.
Post by JiminyCricket
P.S. another topic... people who don't pay taxes (over the year they have
taxes deducted from their income, but in the final mathematical analysis
they get that $$ back and more) getting riled up when politicians convince
them that the rich don't pay taxes (poppycock, especially when you look at
the definition of "rich")
--
Brenda
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-05 17:52:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by JiminyCricket
Frankly, sometimes (often) I feel about social security the way I do
about helmet laws for motorcyclists... In brief: If you don't want to
wear a helmet, fine. Your insurance will cost more than my insurance
because I wear a helmet ALWAYS. If you commit fraud, say you'll wear
a helmet and don't, then your insurance pays nothing if you're in an
accident. If you don't wear a helmet, you're solely responsible for
medical/funeral expenses -- not any federal, state or local agency or
group. In other words, you make a choice and you live with/deal with
the outcomes of your choice.
While that sounds good in rhetoric, the truth is, even if no government
agency intercedes and pays your hospital bill, you will more than likely
have to file bankruptcy. That means: someone else will pay the bill -
not only for health care, but anything else this person had for debt.
Post by JiminyCricket
For social security: I'd agree to pay up to 50% less (I won't be
greedy and say I'd pay 0%) in social security taxes, in return I
never ever get a penny from social security AND any investments that
I make with that $$ are tax-free FOREVER. I don't pay payroll/income
tax on that $$, I don't pay capital gains tax on that $$, I don't pay
taxes on it when I earn it and I don't pay taxes on it when I
withdraw it after retirement (for sake of arguement, let's use age
65). It's my earnings, I live with/deal with the outcomes of my
choices to save and invest. And yes, I do understand that I might
lose $$. And yes, I do understand that there are many people out
there who don't understand investing and would make horrible mistakes
(they can put as much $$ into social security as they'd like if they
believe that the government can/will handle their retirement funds
better than they can/will themselves).
While I understand your angst, this is a social program, not an
"individual" problem. Currently, people are thinking about all of this
from a very individualistic "me, me!" standpoint. That won't solve the
problem.

We can *make* government do what they should be doing. However, that
means we have to be careful about who we vote into office (local, state,
federal levels), be civic minded (i.e. get informed), and understand all
of how this relates to the public at large. So far, from every expert
I've heard on the subject, there are so many conflicting stories that I
can't wrap my brain on what the problem is and how best to fix it.

The problem isn't just a single issue (social security). The problem is
a huge issue that includes ever burgeoning health care costs,
skyrocketing housing costs, inflation indexes that don't take everything
into consideration. The list is endless. Unless we can get our minds
out of a narrow focus, we're not going to solve these huge issues in an
equitable fashion.

There's a reason that politicians "use" narrow focus issues. They are
red herrings that keep people from thinking about and making politicians
deal with *real* problems.
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
JiminyCricket
2005-01-05 18:39:35 UTC
Permalink
** responses interspersed **
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by JiminyCricket
Frankly, sometimes (often) I feel about social security the way I do
about helmet laws for motorcyclists... In brief: If you don't want to
wear a helmet, fine. Your insurance will cost more than my insurance
because I wear a helmet ALWAYS. If you commit fraud, say you'll wear
a helmet and don't, then your insurance pays nothing if you're in an
accident. If you don't wear a helmet, you're solely responsible for
medical/funeral expenses -- not any federal, state or local agency or
group. In other words, you make a choice and you live with/deal with
the outcomes of your choice.
While that sounds good in rhetoric, the truth is, even if no government
agency intercedes and pays your hospital bill, you will more than likely
have to file bankruptcy. That means: someone else will pay the bill -
not only for health care, but anything else this person had for debt.
Excellent point -- I guess in my utopia -- you make your choices, you live
with the results, and nobody else has to clean up your mess with their hard
earned success.
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by JiminyCricket
For social security: I'd agree to pay up to 50% less (I won't be
greedy and say I'd pay 0%) in social security taxes, in return I
never ever get a penny from social security AND any investments that
I make with that $$ are tax-free FOREVER. I don't pay payroll/income
tax on that $$, I don't pay capital gains tax on that $$, I don't pay
taxes on it when I earn it and I don't pay taxes on it when I
withdraw it after retirement (for sake of arguement, let's use age
65). It's my earnings, I live with/deal with the outcomes of my
choices to save and invest. And yes, I do understand that I might
lose $$. And yes, I do understand that there are many people out
there who don't understand investing and would make horrible mistakes
(they can put as much $$ into social security as they'd like if they
believe that the government can/will handle their retirement funds
better than they can/will themselves).
While I understand your angst, this is a social program, not an
"individual" problem. Currently, people are thinking about all of this
from a very individualistic "me, me!" standpoint. That won't solve the
problem.
We can *make* government do what they should be doing. However, that
means we have to be careful about who we vote into office (local, state,
federal levels), be civic minded (i.e. get informed), and understand all
of how this relates to the public at large. So far, from every expert
I've heard on the subject, there are so many conflicting stories that I
can't wrap my brain on what the problem is and how best to fix it.
I agree again.
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
The problem isn't just a single issue (social security). The problem is
a huge issue that includes ever burgeoning health care costs,
skyrocketing housing costs, inflation indexes that don't take everything
into consideration. The list is endless. Unless we can get our minds
out of a narrow focus, we're not going to solve these huge issues in an
equitable fashion.
I keep arguing to family and friends (when I can have an arguement without
getting all crazy) that a cornerstone of the problems we face = poor
education, especially poor economic education. I used to be an asst prof at
a very well respected university -- I taught engineering design & technical
communications -- my students' overall literacy level was appalling. Few
knew how to write a simple 5-paragraph essay. Few knew how to write a decent
sentence. Few knew that the english language contained adjectives & adverbs,
much less that verbs have tense & number... sigh. My dear niece, graduated
w/ highest honors from high school Spring 2004, had many AP credits when she
started college in Fall 2004, has a 3+ GPA for her first semester in college
pre-vet program -- yet she can't read very well, words that I would expect
to be part of her vocabulary aren't (example: "depot" -- didn't know what it
meant, doesn't know how to pronounce it), and her writing is abyssmal. Sigh.
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
There's a reason that politicians "use" narrow focus issues. They are
red herrings that keep people from thinking about and making politicians
deal with *real* problems.
Dianne
--
Sing it sister. Another observation about politicians, they aren't very
literate about basic science, math, statistics, and economics -- also, we
have way too many lobbyists -- AND too many politicians don't have (or have
never had) careers outside law and politics...

S
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-05 20:23:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by JiminyCricket
Excellent point -- I guess in my utopia -- you make your choices, you live
with the results, and nobody else has to clean up your mess with their hard
earned success.
But such a utopia doesn't exist--and *can't* exist.
Post by JiminyCricket
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
We can *make* government do what they should be doing. However, that
means we have to be careful about who we vote into office (local, state,
federal levels), be civic minded (i.e. get informed), and understand all
of how this relates to the public at large. So far, from every expert
I've heard on the subject, there are so many conflicting stories that I
can't wrap my brain on what the problem is and how best to fix it.
I don't think the problem is all that complicated. It's
a pretty simple actuarial problem. The only complicated bit is
figuring out how to fix it. There are lots of ways to fix it,
but each potential fix has "winners" and "losers." That's not
particularly surprising. It's a pretty basic economic fact that
the bottom line issue is that SS has to give money to those who
don't have it, and that money has to come from people who *do*
have money. You can twiddle with the details to try to even
things out, but you can't get blood from a turnip. Those who
could fund their own retirement will never make out *better*
with SS. It's those who *can't* fund their own retirement
who benefit the most.

Beset wishes,
Ericka
Maureen Miller
2005-01-05 17:46:35 UTC
Permalink
This is not really a change of topic, but has anybody read "The Okinawa
Program"? (no affil.) It states that the Okinawans are the longest lived
population in the world, with many of the people living healthy past
100. This, they say, is due as much to lifestyle as genetics. I've
been changing my lifestyle somewhat over the past three months to better
match the book and I must say, I've never felt better. I'd love to live
a healthy life that lasts over 100 years. Can you imagine the amount of
stitching I could get done?! I'd better start grinding out more charts
NOW!!!! LOL

Maureen In Vancouver, B.C.
Post by Brenda
However they do have a right to get riled if the politicians say the
rich don't pay their full share into Social Security. The lower- and
middle-income people (in general) have to pay Social Security on every
cent they earn. Higher-income people reach the cap (some VERY early in
the year) and don't have to contribute beyond that until the next year.
Drastically raising or removing the cap would go a long way toward
repairing the fund. Forcing the government to repay amounts they
"borrowed" from the fund would probably fix it.
Post by JiminyCricket
P.S. another topic... people who don't pay taxes (over the year they have
taxes deducted from their income, but in the final mathematical analysis
they get that $$ back and more) getting riled up when politicians convince
them that the rich don't pay taxes (poppycock, especially when you look at
the definition of "rich")
--
Brenda
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-05 20:04:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maureen Miller
This is not really a change of topic, but has anybody read "The Okinawa
Program"? (no affil.) It states that the Okinawans are the longest lived
population in the world, with many of the people living healthy past
100. This, they say, is due as much to lifestyle as genetics. I've
been changing my lifestyle somewhat over the past three months to better
match the book and I must say, I've never felt better. I'd love to live
a healthy life that lasts over 100 years. Can you imagine the amount of
stitching I could get done?! I'd better start grinding out more charts
NOW!!!! LOL
So tell us: How are you changing your lifestyle? I've tried going
up/down stairs more often, and forcing myself to do something strenuous
*every* day. Today it was stripping beds and running up/down stairs 7
times. Now I can concentrate on an order and do some embroidery with
impunity!
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-06 16:19:36 UTC
Permalink
Hi Brenda

On paper that sounds FAIR, but is it really?

The wealthy normally cannot collect monies from social security
because they have investment incomes that are deducted from the
amounts they would get otherwise.

TTUL
Gary
Post by Brenda
However they do have a right to get riled if the politicians say the
rich don't pay their full share into Social Security. The lower- and
middle-income people (in general) have to pay Social Security on every
cent they earn. Higher-income people reach the cap (some VERY early in
the year) and don't have to contribute beyond that until the next year.
Drastically raising or removing the cap would go a long way toward
repairing the fund. Forcing the government to repay amounts they
"borrowed" from the fund would probably fix it.
Post by JiminyCricket
P.S. another topic... people who don't pay taxes (over the year they have
taxes deducted from their income, but in the final mathematical analysis
they get that $$ back and more) getting riled up when politicians convince
them that the rich don't pay taxes (poppycock, especially when you look at
the definition of "rich")
--
Brenda
Dr. Brat
2005-01-06 16:58:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Brenda
On paper that sounds FAIR, but is it really?
The wealthy normally cannot collect monies from social security
because they have investment incomes that are deducted from the
amounts they would get otherwise.
Define wealthy. My father has investment income enough to live on. He
also collects social security.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-05 17:40:38 UTC
Permalink
. . . getting riled up when politicians convince
them that the rich don't pay taxes (poppycock, especially when you look at
the definition of "rich")
And that definition would be?
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
JiminyCricket
2005-01-05 18:29:50 UTC
Permalink
During the recent presidential campaign the definition of rich fluctuated
...
I heard #s from $180,000 to $220,000 household income PRETAX.

I'm not claiming that households with that level of income pretax isn't in a
better position than households with $40,000 income pretax. My point is that
those households aren't RICH and they do pay taxes (quite a good sized
amount actually). If they're also households with 2 parents & 2 children,
even living a non-extravagant lifestyle, they probably don't have gobs of
money lying around.

I found (and continue to find) it insulting that these households would be
called RICH and be accused of being anti-middle-class, of holding down those
who earn less than they do, etc...

S
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
. . . getting riled up when politicians convince
them that the rich don't pay taxes (poppycock, especially when you look at
the definition of "rich")
And that definition would be?
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-05 19:51:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by JiminyCricket
During the recent presidential campaign the definition of rich fluctuated
...
I heard #s from $180,000 to $220,000 household income PRETAX.
I would call that relatively rich, considering (if I remember the
numbers correctly) the median income in the U.S. is around $35,000.

I understand that to most people, rich means millionaires.

Now, if you want to start juggling numbers around to indicate that those
earning less than $35,000 or $45,000 are poor, then the middle class
numbers would go up relatively as well. But since we call a family of 4
with an income of $24,000 "poor", then yes, $180k to $220k is rich by
that standard.

Back in the 70's and 80's the owners of the company where I worked made
that kind of money and cried about the taxes they were paying. One came
into my office grumbling. I looked up and said I wished I made the kind
of money he did in order to afford that kind of tax. And that was AFTER
Reagan had reduced taxes - which was a joke because all he did was a
shell game. Many deductions that the lesser endowed once used were
removed. People with better incomes always can find ways to shelter it.
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Dr. Brat
2005-01-05 21:05:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by JiminyCricket
During the recent presidential campaign the definition of rich fluctuated
...
I heard #s from $180,000 to $220,000 household income PRETAX.
I'm not claiming that households with that level of income pretax isn't in a
better position than households with $40,000 income pretax. My point is that
those households aren't RICH and they do pay taxes (quite a good sized
amount actually). If they're also households with 2 parents & 2 children,
even living a non-extravagant lifestyle, they probably don't have gobs of
money lying around.
When the median income in the US is below $40,000, how can you claim
that someone making $220,000 isn't rich?
Post by JiminyCricket
I found (and continue to find) it insulting that these households would be
called RICH and be accused of being anti-middle-class, of holding down those
who earn less than they do, etc...
My father used to say that if you had any money left over after your
basic expenses were paid then you were rich. Of course he also said
that everyone spends 20% more than they make....

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
JiminyCricket
2005-01-05 22:02:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by JiminyCricket
During the recent presidential campaign the definition of rich fluctuated
...
I heard #s from $180,000 to $220,000 household income PRETAX.
I'm not claiming that households with that level of income pretax isn't in a
better position than households with $40,000 income pretax. My point is that
those households aren't RICH and they do pay taxes (quite a good sized
amount actually). If they're also households with 2 parents & 2 children,
even living a non-extravagant lifestyle, they probably don't have gobs of
money lying around.
When the median income in the US is below $40,000, how can you claim
that someone making $220,000 isn't rich?
I'm not saying that someone (household) making $220,000 isn't upper middle
class, but they aren't RICH. They can't go to the Ferrari dealership and buy
anything and everything. They can't run out and buy a new ski boat every 2
or 3 years. They can't go to the fur store / jewelry store /
some-other-luxury store and buy gifts for Christmas, birthdays,
anniversaries, etc. They have to save for the future. They have to save to
send the kids to college. They have to plan.

My biggest PITA is the insinuation (well, it isn't even insinuation, it's
accusation) that a household making $220,000 isn't paying their fair share
of taxes. In my state, if you're self-employed (i.e. small-business owner),
your combined tax/ss rate is approximately 50% before expenses (about 33%
after that) -- seems to me that if you're paying 33% in taxes, you ain't
skating along. You're not making enough to go for all those "loop-holes"
that every rich person is supposed to be exploiting.

(I'm getting off focus and not really hitting what I'm trying to say, I'll
keep trying if you keep asking questions :))...
S
escape
2005-01-05 23:10:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by JiminyCricket
I'm not saying that someone (household) making $220,000 isn't upper middle
class, but they aren't RICH. They can't go to the Ferrari dealership and buy
anything and everything. They can't run out and buy a new ski boat every 2
or 3 years. They can't go to the fur store / jewelry store /
some-other-luxury store and buy gifts for Christmas, birthdays,
anniversaries, etc. They have to save for the future. They have to save to
send the kids to college. They have to plan.
I think the word which is more appropriate is "wealthy." The term "rich" is
misused for these purposes. I can be rich without having money if I have love
and happiness in my life. I don't need my 2500 square foot home, or the cars or
boat or trailer or any of it. My husband would love a Ferrari and he drools
while he watches them win the Constructor Title and World Champ Schumacher every
year, but buy one? Nope.
Post by JiminyCricket
My biggest PITA is the insinuation (well, it isn't even insinuation, it's
accusation) that a household making $220,000 isn't paying their fair share
of taxes. In my state, if you're self-employed (i.e. small-business owner),
your combined tax/ss rate is approximately 50% before expenses (about 33%
after that) -- seems to me that if you're paying 33% in taxes, you ain't
skating along. You're not making enough to go for all those "loop-holes"
that every rich person is supposed to be exploiting.
People of wealth, and I am talking about people who earn upwards of $750,000
dollars per year are the ones who have the prime tax cuts. The wealthy people
have tons and tons of loopholes. They still pay taxes, just ask Leona Helmsley
who went to jail for tax fraud, and she paid $350,000 dollars that year. If we
were making $220,000 a year in this part of Texas, we'd have a home five times
as large, with horses and they'd be fed apples. Up in NY, that same money with
3 kids will be about enough to pay things well, eat well, drive relatively well
and save some money, so it's not the dregs. I do agree with what you are
saying, though.
Post by JiminyCricket
(I'm getting off focus and not really hitting what I'm trying to say, I'll
keep trying if you keep asking questions :))...
S
I thought you made things very clear and I agree.





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JiminyCricket
2005-01-06 02:17:35 UTC
Permalink
Well, thank you (sincere grin)...
Have a good evening and thanks for pointing out that a major difference in
"wealth" is location -- you got right on top of one of the points I was
trying to make in my head :)
S
On Wed, 05 Jan 2005 22:02:18 GMT, "JiminyCricket"
Post by JiminyCricket
I'm not saying that someone (household) making $220,000 isn't upper middle
class, but they aren't RICH. They can't go to the Ferrari dealership and buy
anything and everything. They can't run out and buy a new ski boat every 2
or 3 years. They can't go to the fur store / jewelry store /
some-other-luxury store and buy gifts for Christmas, birthdays,
anniversaries, etc. They have to save for the future. They have to save to
send the kids to college. They have to plan.
I think the word which is more appropriate is "wealthy." The term "rich" is
misused for these purposes. I can be rich without having money if I have love
and happiness in my life. I don't need my 2500 square foot home, or the cars or
boat or trailer or any of it. My husband would love a Ferrari and he drools
while he watches them win the Constructor Title and World Champ Schumacher every
year, but buy one? Nope.
Post by JiminyCricket
My biggest PITA is the insinuation (well, it isn't even insinuation, it's
accusation) that a household making $220,000 isn't paying their fair share
of taxes. In my state, if you're self-employed (i.e. small-business owner),
your combined tax/ss rate is approximately 50% before expenses (about 33%
after that) -- seems to me that if you're paying 33% in taxes, you ain't
skating along. You're not making enough to go for all those "loop-holes"
that every rich person is supposed to be exploiting.
People of wealth, and I am talking about people who earn upwards of $750,000
dollars per year are the ones who have the prime tax cuts. The wealthy people
have tons and tons of loopholes. They still pay taxes, just ask Leona Helmsley
who went to jail for tax fraud, and she paid $350,000 dollars that year.
If we
were making $220,000 a year in this part of Texas, we'd have a home five times
as large, with horses and they'd be fed apples. Up in NY, that same money with
3 kids will be about enough to pay things well, eat well, drive relatively well
and save some money, so it's not the dregs. I do agree with what you are
saying, though.
Post by JiminyCricket
(I'm getting off focus and not really hitting what I'm trying to say, I'll
keep trying if you keep asking questions :))...
S
I thought you made things very clear and I agree.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend?
http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
Brenda
2005-01-06 03:40:49 UTC
Permalink
Whether someone making $220,000 is rich or not is purely based on local
standards. That income is nothing if you live on the North Shore but is
certainly rich by small-town Iowa standards. When the new school
teachers make less than $20,000 and the clerical and production staff at
the local lettershop make just a little over minimum wage and aren't
allowed any overtime (although they do get small shift premiums for
working nights), $220,000 a year is almost unbelievable wealth. Even
making just $100,000 a year makes you eligible for the snob class.
Post by JiminyCricket
I'm not saying that someone (household) making $220,000 isn't upper middle
class, but they aren't RICH. They can't go to the Ferrari dealership and buy
anything and everything. They can't run out and buy a new ski boat every 2
or 3 years. They can't go to the fur store / jewelry store /
some-other-luxury store and buy gifts for Christmas, birthdays,
anniversaries, etc. They have to save for the future. They have to save to
send the kids to college. They have to plan.
--
Brenda
escape
2005-01-06 13:52:36 UTC
Permalink
Teachers on the North Shore of Long Island? They do not start at 20. However,
even on the North Shore 220 a year is a nice wage provided you don't have tons
of kids. That's good money wherever you live in the country. You get more for
your money in certain parts, but I could live very well on 220 in New York, even
in Stonybrook.
Post by Brenda
Whether someone making $220,000 is rich or not is purely based on local
standards. That income is nothing if you live on the North Shore but is
certainly rich by small-town Iowa standards. When the new school
teachers make less than $20,000 and the clerical and production staff at
the local lettershop make just a little over minimum wage and aren't
allowed any overtime (although they do get small shift premiums for
working nights), $220,000 a year is almost unbelievable wealth. Even
making just $100,000 a year makes you eligible for the snob class.
Post by JiminyCricket
I'm not saying that someone (household) making $220,000 isn't upper middle
class, but they aren't RICH. They can't go to the Ferrari dealership and buy
anything and everything. They can't run out and buy a new ski boat every 2
or 3 years. They can't go to the fur store / jewelry store /
some-other-luxury store and buy gifts for Christmas, birthdays,
anniversaries, etc. They have to save for the future. They have to save to
send the kids to college. They have to plan.
Need a good, cheap, knowledge expanding present for yourself or a friend?
http://www.animaux.net/stern/present.html
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-06 16:43:42 UTC
Permalink
Not to any person directly, just all involved in this topic.

WHAT is RICH?

The last 15 years up until 3 years ago, I easily earned 80 to 100k per
year. However, that income did NOT come without it's associated
expenses that generated it.
I rarely if ever (with college for the kids, clothing, food, etc.) had
a dime left over to buy myself something I may have wanted.
My 1200 sq ft home was a necessity at that time!
3 good running vehicles, 2 cars 1 work truck, were a necessity.
Although my home (personal residence) was nearly paid for, medical
bills dictated that I refinance it to the hilt.

For the last 3 years my monthly income has only been $500.00 per month
average. Yet I am richer NOW than I have ever been before in my whole
life. I have a few dollars here and there left over to buy something
I want. Nothing extravagant of course, but something sensible that I
would like to have.

When I compare the total amount of taxes I paid at 80 to 100k income
per year, vs the total taxes I pay at only 6k per year. They are NOT
much different in their dollar amounts. But as a percentage of my
current income, they are astronomical!
Nearly 65% of my income went to paying TAXES until last year, when I
moved south. And even here, over 50% of my income goes to Taxes, MOST
of which has nothing to do with income or spending, but FIXED taxes we
pay with no income or spending to offset those taxes.

I could earn more money if I wanted to easily. Might even have too to
keep up with the tax increases (doubling once already since I moved
here). But I chose freedom and happiness over making a larger income.
I live within my means and have NO indebtedness to anyone.
I have enough money that I can set aside a few bucks here and their so
that I CAN buy a new vehicle when I need one, or replace the furnace
or roof, etc. without having to borrow to do so.
I do use credit cards for simplicity, but pay them off completely each
month so as not to accrue any interest charges.
When you add interest to the cost of an item, often you are paying
exhorbitantly for that item.

TTUL
Gary
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-05 22:25:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dr. Brat
When the median income in the US is below $40,000, how can you claim
that someone making $220,000 isn't rich?
Well, doesn't it all depend on your definition of "rich?"
If your definition of "rich" is lives in a mansion, can hire
people to do whatever you don't want to do, and never have to
think about whether you can afford an impulse buy, then $220k
isn't going to make you "rich" by that definition in many
(most?) parts of the US. If by "rich" you mean able to
provide handily for one's needs with some prudent decision
making, then $220k *is* rich. In my experience, people
certainly use the word "rich" differently enough to
accommodate nearly any salary you want to name. I don't
think "rich" is a particularly useful word. Too value-
laden. I think it's far more useful to talk in terms of,
say, income percentiles or something like that. In 2001,
the 95th percentile for income started at about $150k,
so someone with an income of $220k is certainly in pretty
rarified company, even if he or she isn't what some people
envision as "rich."

Best wishes,
Ericka
Rachel Janzen
2005-01-06 04:18:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Post by Dr. Brat
When the median income in the US is below $40,000, how can you claim
that someone making $220,000 isn't rich?
Well, doesn't it all depend on your definition of "rich?"
If your definition of "rich" is lives in a mansion, can hire
people to do whatever you don't want to do, and never have to
think about whether you can afford an impulse buy, then $220k
isn't going to make you "rich" by that definition in many
(most?) parts of the US. If by "rich" you mean able to
provide handily for one's needs with some prudent decision
making, then $220k *is* rich. In my experience, people
certainly use the word "rich" differently enough to
accommodate nearly any salary you want to name. I don't
think "rich" is a particularly useful word. Too value-
laden. I think it's far more useful to talk in terms of,
say, income percentiles or something like that. In 2001,
the 95th percentile for income started at about $150k,
so someone with an income of $220k is certainly in pretty
rarified company, even if he or she isn't what some people
envision as "rich."
Best wishes,
Ericka
Okay - Here's a grassroots example of how people's definition of rich
can differ.

When I was fourteen, I got a leather jacket for my birthday. The first
time I wore it too school, more than one person insinuated that I (or my
parents) must be rich. Ummm no, if anything I think my parents were in
their worst financial situation during those years of my growing up
period. But, it was a luxury, I don't deny that. But it was one that was
important to us, so we found the money for it. Another family may
consider it important to go to the movies together, another a cabin at
the lake is considered essential and so on and so forth. Every family
(person) has what is important to them so they find the time/money to
make it work. And others will generally assume they are rich by what
they spend their money on. My parents had a large garden, bought a half
a beef a year (which they would cut and wrap themselves) and other
grocery bill saving techniques that required extra work on their part
but did save cash for other expenses, luxuries or otherwise.

Now I feel like I'm rambling...

R
Liz Hampton
2005-01-06 07:16:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by JiminyCricket
I heard #s from $180,000 to $220,000 household income PRETAX.
I'm not claiming that households with that level of income pretax isn't in a
better position than households with $40,000 income pretax. My point is that
those households aren't RICH and they do pay taxes (quite a good sized
amount actually). If they're also households with 2 parents & 2 children,
even living a non-extravagant lifestyle, they probably don't have gobs of
money lying around.
I found (and continue to find) it insulting that these households would be
called RICH and be accused of being anti-middle-class, of holding down those
who earn less than they do, etc...
S
I guess it is all relative, but I would certainly call $180,000 rich! Even
when DH & I were both working full time and living in the S.F. Bay Area we
never came close to even half of that amount & we had enough to be setting
aside a sizeable savings (no children, though) and we didn't constantly have
to worry about one of the cars falling apart. Sheesh! $180,000 a year is
$15,000 a month. Even AFTER taxes, that would give everyone I know plenty
of money to do what they need to do and still put a decent amount away for
college & retirement unless they really went hog wild with luxury items.
At this point, DH & I would be happy with a reliable $40,000 per year!
We'd be a whole lot happier with $180,000 - but not if we had to live
somewhere else & change our life style to do it. :-)) If only there were a
way to earn that much money with rocky land abundant with poison oak/madrone
and blackberries. :-)))))
Liz from Humbug
Liz from Humbug
Brenda
2005-01-06 07:09:25 UTC
Permalink
Tax the blackberries!!!! :-) Well I thought that was funny. OK, maybe
I should go get some sleep.
Post by Liz Hampton
If only there were a
way to earn that much money with rocky land abundant with poison oak/madrone
and blackberries. :-)))))
--
Brenda
Karen C - California
2005-01-05 17:46:23 UTC
Permalink
During the Congressional speeches yesterday in memory of Bob Matsui, one of the
Congresswomen mentioned that the very last time that she spoke to Bob, he
pointed out to her that there are *laws* that prevent corporations from looting
their pension funds to pay for other expenses, yet there is nothing to prevent
the government from looting the Social Security fund to pay for other expenses.
And, in fact, they do that quite regularly, whenever they need some extra cash
to balance the Federal budget.

Bob was The Expert on Social Security, and the Democrats are uneasy about going
into the upcoming Social Security reform debate without his depth of knowledge.
Even in the hospital the last week, he was reading up on Social Security
issues, preparing for that debate.

If you turn on CSPAN right this moment, you can see the DC memorial service for
him. He'll be brought back home, lie in state in the State Capitol for 24
hours, and then a memorial service here on Saturday.

Goodbye to someone invariably described as "a really nice man". He was
re-elected with nearly 3/4 of the vote.
--
Finished 12/8/04 -- Army bear ornament
WIP: Fireman's Prayer (#2), Amid Amish Life, Angel of Autumn, Calif Sampler,
Holiday Snowglobe

Paralegal - Writer - Editor - Researcher
http://hometown.aol.com/kmc528/KMC.html
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-05 20:15:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Ericka
I placed a short comment by each of your responses and snipped the
rest inbetween.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Straight from the SSA itself, updated as of 2004,
using the expectancy for age 65. IRS says 20 years (though
due to the nature of their calculations, they're generous).
As you show here, they are basing this only on those who DO reach
retirement age. Of those that DID attain the age of 65 years old, YES
they can be expected to live to be 80 or older.
It totally ignores all of those who have died before reaching
retirement age!
So do you consider this a reliable figure that clearly depicts those
who have contributed vs those who receive benefits?
*I* chose that number, not SSA, simply running the
numbers based on those who reached retirement age. There are
certainly those who won't make it to retirement age and thus
will not benefit. I rather doubt that's a huge number, though--
certainly not enough to drive it down to your assertion that
"you will never live long enough to collect back what you
have paid into SS."
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
? Most? According to the Department of Labor, only
9 percent of 15yos were employed, 26 percent of 16yos, and
39 percent of 17yos. Those are school year figures. Summer
figures are higher and are, respectively, 18, 36, and 48
percent. Even so, that leaves less than half of 17yos
employed and paying into Social Security (and that's assuming
all of those employed teens are paying into Social Security,
which is unlikely).
The range I used was from 15 to 35 years old, NOT 15 to 18 years old.
I was responding to your claim that most people
begin paying into the SS system at age 15. Your quote:
"Considering that MOST people begin paying into Social Security
at the age of 15 years old..." Most people do NOT begin
paying into the system at 15. Most don't begin until after
17 years of age.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? To contribute the maximum amount to SS, you have to
be making $87,900 in 2004. I *seriously* doubt that more than
half of 21-35yos are making that kind of money. In fact, average
annual wages in the US for 2003 are only $36,520. So, nowhere
*near* half of 21-35yos are making the maximum contribution.
Did you mean something else?
You got me on this one!
I didn't realize they raised the income cut off amount!
When I was salaried/working it was somewhere around 50k.
Yep, it goes up. It will go up again in 2005.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
5 of the 7 children I raised or partly raised all came out of college
earning over 55k a year meeting their maximum SS pay in amounts during
the years I (or my CPA) was still doing their taxes for them.
And that's very unusual. The average person doesn't
earn anywhere near that much.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
The next issue is average annual wages. Is this based on per capita,
those only over 65, or those between 21 and 55?
It is based on those currently employed (wages paid,
not income received).
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
It's like the figure given by the government for the unemployed. They
ONLY count those individuals who are collecting unemployment.
Those who cannot collect unemployment, such as formerly self-employed
individuals who's businesses went sour on them, are not counted as
being unemployed.
If you counted per capita, the number would go down.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
When using 'averages' to determine something where many sources of
data must be combined to get the correct figure, all of those
'averages' must be from the same ranges to have any meaning at all.
People from 15 to 70 contribute to the Social Security funds.
So to get an accurate life expectancy of those contributing and those
taking out, you CANNOT use the percentage of those who MAKE IT to 65
as your starting figure as the SSA does. That ONLY gives the
percentage of those individuals who have reached retirement. It no
way reflects those who paid in that will NEVER collect.
Right. I was not intending to capture those who will
never collect at all. However, I could certainly calculate
that. The life expectancy of someone who was born in 1940
(and who would therefore turn 65 this year) was just shy of
63 years, and thus the "average" person would not collect
at all--just as the average person doesn't collect (at least
in a big way) on most sorts of insurance. But there are
obviously plenty of folks today who have made it to retirement
age and are in need of funds.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
H&R Block (based only on the customers they did taxes for) published a
report in 1999 that showed the amount of taxes paid to Federal, State,
City, Personal Property and other taxes, FICA, Medicaid, etc. and
compared this to their incomes.
I wish I still had that report to get exact figures from.
I do remember that the amounts of money paid into Social Security was
staggering compared to the amounts estimated to be paid back out.
But I would expect that--people who pay others to do
their taxes tend to have quite a bit more money than those who
don't!
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
They also included the mortality rate for those who would not make it
to retirement, excluding children. In other words, the range of 15 to
65 year olds. I don't remember the percentage but it was over 15% for
sure.
This can be viewed as 15% of those paying into Social Security will
NEVER draw Social Security at all.
Sure. It makes a heck of a lot more sense to me to
break it down and say that X percent won't collect at all,
and of those who collect anything, X percent will collect
more than they put in. Seems to me that 15 percent may well
be a reasonable stab at how many will not collect at all,
but of those who collect anything, betcha most collect more
than they put in--easily.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
We know that when the SSA was formed it had ZERO Dollars.
The payments made to retiree's was taken from the income of the
currently employed contributors to the System.
The mortality rates were also much higher than they are today!
And...? That's the way the system was designed. It wasn't
designed as an investment plan or as an individual retirement
account. It was designed as an insurance plan. What has it
in trouble is that the actuarial stats have changed sufficiently
that it will no longer be solvent in the future unless some
things are changed.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
And with more workers than retirees, there was sufficient income to do
this easily and build up the SS resources.
20 years after the baby boom started, the contributions into the SS
system was 5 times greater than those receiving SS payments.
Which within 10 years or around 1970 finally brought the SSA into a
monetary balance, wherein the contributions being made were no longer
necessary to pay past generations that did not contribute to the
system. In other words, there was no longer a deficit. Only those
who contributed were getting back some of their own contributions.
After 1970 family sizes began to decrease again, so by 1990 the number
of new contributors was about 1/2 of those in the 1970's and 1980's.
This should pose absolutely no problem at all to the current and
future generations, because the SSA was in balance in 1970, with the
payouts coming from the contributors who paid into the system.
So what happened? Why is the SSA in trouble again?
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
They saw all that money in their accounts and began wasting YOUR
money! Trying to maintain the SSA as a Ponzi Scheme, they used YOUR
retirement funds to fuel other programs they had no business getting
involved in. This put them back into an unrecoverable deficit, unless
there is another major baby boom, which is NOT likely to happen.
Again, irrelevant. Assume the money is there or assume it
isn't, and there's still a problem. You only change when the problem
hits. Insurance systems are "profitable" or not based on demographics.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Brenda
2005-01-05 20:10:10 UTC
Permalink
Just to bedevil you both, there are also people who work for a few years
but end up being a few credits shy of the number needed for SS benefits.
Some leave the workforce to become stay-at-home parents, some cannot
work anymore but don't have enough credits for SS disability, some (like
DH) get a job in a state system which does not contribute to SS, and
there are probably other situations. All of these people put in some
money and will never get anything back even if they do live to
retirement age. Does anyone keep statistics on this?

Brenda
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Ericka
I placed a short comment by each of your responses and snipped the
rest inbetween.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Straight from the SSA itself, updated as of 2004,
using the expectancy for age 65. IRS says 20 years (though
due to the nature of their calculations, they're generous).
As you show here, they are basing this only on those who DO reach
retirement age. Of those that DID attain the age of 65 years old, YES
they can be expected to live to be 80 or older.
It totally ignores all of those who have died before reaching
retirement age!
So do you consider this a reliable figure that clearly depicts those
who have contributed vs those who receive benefits?
*I* chose that number, not SSA, simply running the
numbers based on those who reached retirement age. There are
certainly those who won't make it to retirement age and thus
will not benefit. I rather doubt that's a huge number, though--
certainly not enough to drive it down to your assertion that
"you will never live long enough to collect back what you
have paid into SS."
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
? Most? According to the Department of Labor, only
9 percent of 15yos were employed, 26 percent of 16yos, and
39 percent of 17yos. Those are school year figures. Summer
figures are higher and are, respectively, 18, 36, and 48
percent. Even so, that leaves less than half of 17yos
employed and paying into Social Security (and that's assuming
all of those employed teens are paying into Social Security,
which is unlikely).
The range I used was from 15 to 35 years old, NOT 15 to 18 years old.
I was responding to your claim that most people
"Considering that MOST people begin paying into Social Security
at the age of 15 years old..." Most people do NOT begin
paying into the system at 15. Most don't begin until after
17 years of age.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? To contribute the maximum amount to SS, you have to
be making $87,900 in 2004. I *seriously* doubt that more than
half of 21-35yos are making that kind of money. In fact, average
annual wages in the US for 2003 are only $36,520. So, nowhere
*near* half of 21-35yos are making the maximum contribution.
Did you mean something else?
You got me on this one!
I didn't realize they raised the income cut off amount!
When I was salaried/working it was somewhere around 50k.
Yep, it goes up. It will go up again in 2005.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
5 of the 7 children I raised or partly raised all came out of college
earning over 55k a year meeting their maximum SS pay in amounts during
the years I (or my CPA) was still doing their taxes for them.
And that's very unusual. The average person doesn't
earn anywhere near that much.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
The next issue is average annual wages. Is this based on per capita,
those only over 65, or those between 21 and 55?
It is based on those currently employed (wages paid,
not income received).
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
It's like the figure given by the government for the unemployed. They
ONLY count those individuals who are collecting unemployment.
Those who cannot collect unemployment, such as formerly self-employed
individuals who's businesses went sour on them, are not counted as
being unemployed.
If you counted per capita, the number would go down.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
When using 'averages' to determine something where many sources of
data must be combined to get the correct figure, all of those
'averages' must be from the same ranges to have any meaning at all.
People from 15 to 70 contribute to the Social Security funds.
So to get an accurate life expectancy of those contributing and those
taking out, you CANNOT use the percentage of those who MAKE IT to 65
as your starting figure as the SSA does. That ONLY gives the
percentage of those individuals who have reached retirement. It no
way reflects those who paid in that will NEVER collect.
Right. I was not intending to capture those who will
never collect at all. However, I could certainly calculate
that. The life expectancy of someone who was born in 1940
(and who would therefore turn 65 this year) was just shy of
63 years, and thus the "average" person would not collect
at all--just as the average person doesn't collect (at least
in a big way) on most sorts of insurance. But there are
obviously plenty of folks today who have made it to retirement
age and are in need of funds.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
H&R Block (based only on the customers they did taxes for) published a
report in 1999 that showed the amount of taxes paid to Federal, State,
City, Personal Property and other taxes, FICA, Medicaid, etc. and
compared this to their incomes.
I wish I still had that report to get exact figures from.
I do remember that the amounts of money paid into Social Security was
staggering compared to the amounts estimated to be paid back out.
But I would expect that--people who pay others to do
their taxes tend to have quite a bit more money than those who
don't!
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
They also included the mortality rate for those who would not make it
to retirement, excluding children. In other words, the range of 15 to
65 year olds. I don't remember the percentage but it was over 15% for
sure.
This can be viewed as 15% of those paying into Social Security will
NEVER draw Social Security at all.
Sure. It makes a heck of a lot more sense to me to
break it down and say that X percent won't collect at all,
and of those who collect anything, X percent will collect
more than they put in. Seems to me that 15 percent may well
be a reasonable stab at how many will not collect at all,
but of those who collect anything, betcha most collect more
than they put in--easily.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
We know that when the SSA was formed it had ZERO Dollars. The
payments made to retiree's was taken from the income of the
currently employed contributors to the System.
The mortality rates were also much higher than they are today!
And...? That's the way the system was designed. It wasn't
designed as an investment plan or as an individual retirement
account. It was designed as an insurance plan. What has it
in trouble is that the actuarial stats have changed sufficiently
that it will no longer be solvent in the future unless some
things are changed.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
And with more workers than retirees, there was sufficient income to do
this easily and build up the SS resources.
20 years after the baby boom started, the contributions into the SS
system was 5 times greater than those receiving SS payments.
Which within 10 years or around 1970 finally brought the SSA into a
monetary balance, wherein the contributions being made were no longer
necessary to pay past generations that did not contribute to the
system. In other words, there was no longer a deficit. Only those
who contributed were getting back some of their own contributions.
After 1970 family sizes began to decrease again, so by 1990 the number
of new contributors was about 1/2 of those in the 1970's and 1980's.
This should pose absolutely no problem at all to the current and
future generations, because the SSA was in balance in 1970, with the
payouts coming from the contributors who paid into the system.
So what happened? Why is the SSA in trouble again?
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
They saw all that money in their accounts and began wasting YOUR
money! Trying to maintain the SSA as a Ponzi Scheme, they used YOUR
retirement funds to fuel other programs they had no business getting
involved in. This put them back into an unrecoverable deficit, unless
there is another major baby boom, which is NOT likely to happen.
Again, irrelevant. Assume the money is there or assume it
isn't, and there's still a problem. You only change when the problem
hits. Insurance systems are "profitable" or not based on demographics.
Best wishes,
Ericka
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-05 22:27:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda
Just to bedevil you both, there are also people who work for a few years
but end up being a few credits shy of the number needed for SS benefits.
Some leave the workforce to become stay-at-home parents, some cannot
work anymore but don't have enough credits for SS disability, some (like
DH) get a job in a state system which does not contribute to SS, and
there are probably other situations. All of these people put in some
money and will never get anything back even if they do live to
retirement age. Does anyone keep statistics on this?
Yes, but they seem to be difficult to acquire ;-) There
have been several proposals to address some of these issues (like
having government workers pay into SS and such).

Best wishes,
Ericka
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-05 22:37:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years.
I grew up thinking of it as a retirement account. And since my
grandparents and my mother have done very well with it, the thought of
additional savings never entered my mind as a young person. The
government lulled us into this. Plus, many large firms had pension
plans, factories were enjoying growth, things were bopping right along.
Things began to fail in the late 1960's, and every decade thereafter
has experienced either better than average inflation or recession or
both. In the last two decades, health care costs have risen
dramatically, as has housing. All of this accounts for a lot of the
disparity in what I *thought* my life would be like in retirement on
social security and what will actually occur.

Not sure I said all that the way I wanted. :-)
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-05 22:51:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years.
I grew up thinking of it as a retirement account. And since my
grandparents and my mother have done very well with it, the thought of
additional savings never entered my mind as a young person. The
government lulled us into this.
Please explain! I still remember some flier in one of my first "real"
paychecks about SS and the need for additional savings "to protect my
future" - this is circa 1977-78. It came from SS when I worked for a chain
restaurant.

You aren't all that much older than I.

Cheryl
Lucille
2005-01-05 23:23:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years.
I grew up thinking of it as a retirement account. And since my
grandparents and my mother have done very well with it, the thought of
additional savings never entered my mind as a young person. The
government lulled us into this.
Please explain! I still remember some flier in one of my first "real"
paychecks about SS and the need for additional savings "to protect my
future" - this is circa 1977-78. It came from SS when I worked for a chain
restaurant.
You aren't all that much older than I.
Cheryl
And I'm older than both of you and I don't ever remember thinking of SS as a
complete retirment fund. I was always encouraged to save, even being
offered a 401K account at work that was tax deferred and was thought of as a
retirment account. As a matter of fact, my mother and father were
encouraged to have something to fall back on besides SS. My father had a
small union pension from his union and my mother, who worked for New York
City Social Services, paid into a supplementary pension.

Lucille
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-06 15:22:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years.
I grew up thinking of it as a retirement account. And since my
grandparents and my mother have done very well with it, the thought of
additional savings never entered my mind as a young person. The
government lulled us into this.
Please explain! I still remember some flier in one of my first "real"
paychecks about SS and the need for additional savings "to protect my
future" - this is circa 1977-78. It came from SS when I worked for a chain
restaurant.
You aren't all that much older than I.
In today's USAToday:
Now benefits are calculated to reflect the standard of living a person
enjoys based on his earnings. When benefits are calculated at age 65
based on earnings over a lifetime, the salary earned in prior years is
adjusted upward to reflect wage growth.

I think that answers any question one might have on whether or not it's
a retirement account. That's the propoganda I've been hearing from decades.
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-06 16:31:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Now benefits are calculated to reflect the standard of living a person
enjoys based on his earnings. When benefits are calculated at age 65
based on earnings over a lifetime, the salary earned in prior years is
adjusted upward to reflect wage growth.
I think that answers any question one might have on whether or not it's
a retirement account. That's the propoganda I've been hearing from decades.
Well, there are separate issues getting mixed up here. One
issue is whether SS was intended to serve as an adequate retirement
income on its own (or whether it has been advertised as such).
Clearly, it's not sufficient for most people's needs, but the
lines may have been blurred on occasion. I wouldn't know--as
I said, I haven't particularly paid attention to what has been
said or promoted about it.
The other issue is whether SS is *designed* as a retirement
account or as an insurance system. However it has been described,
it is *clearly* set up as an insurance system. In fact, the proper
name for it (OASDI) stands for Old Age, Survivors, and Disability
INSURANCE. Just like health insurance works by everyone paying in
premiums and receiving benefits on an as needed basis from the
common pool, SS takes in "premiums" (current wage earner contributions)
and distributes benefits to current recipients. Yes, those who put
in more get out more. However, this is not because there's any
accounting for individual contributions. It's just a tweak to
the basic framework as a sop to those who are unhappy with the
unfairness of everyone getting the same even though they put in
different amounts. It's more akin to being able to get better
health care benefits by paying higher premiums than it is any
direct relationship between contributions and benefits. And
even though benefits are adjusted based on prior contributions,
it doesn't make things even close to what the situation would
be if it were an individual account. The formulae substantially
even things out (IIRC, there are two major inflection points in
the benefits curve).
Again, I have little knowledge of how SS has been
promoted over time. It seems clear to me that there has been
at least *some* attempt to disguise it as an individual
account at times by adding features that make it appear so.
I assume that this is largely due to an attempt to make it
more palatable in a country that generally prefers programs
to associate benefit with contribution somehow to make it
look like folks are working for what they get. Of course,
those attemts, if they existed, may have backfired by
obscuring the system enough that people don't really
understand what's going on.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-06 16:49:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years.
I grew up thinking of it as a retirement account. And since my
grandparents and my mother have done very well with it, the thought of
additional savings never entered my mind as a young person. The
government lulled us into this.
Please explain! I still remember some flier in one of my first "real"
paychecks about SS and the need for additional savings "to protect my
future" - this is circa 1977-78. It came from SS when I worked for a chain
restaurant.
You aren't all that much older than I.
Now benefits are calculated to reflect the standard of living a person
enjoys based on his earnings. When benefits are calculated at age 65
based on earnings over a lifetime, the salary earned in prior years is
adjusted upward to reflect wage growth.
I think that answers any question one might have on whether or not it's
a retirement account. That's the propoganda I've been hearing from decades.
Dianne
So where does that say live on just this $$ of dollars. At best, SS an
annuity, not a sole source of funds.

Cheryl
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-05 23:29:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years. I
grew up thinking of it as a retirement account. And since my
grandparents and my mother have done very well with it, the thought of
additional savings never entered my mind as a young person. The
government lulled us into this.
Oh, I'm not saying that people didn't/don't *think*
of SS as an individual retirement account, or that it hasn't
been promoted as one. I'm just saying that financially,
it is *designed* as insurance, not as an individual retirement
account. It has some features designed to make it *look*
more like an individual retirement account, primarily to make
it more palatable to some people, but it just isn't financially
set up that way. I don't think it's splitting hairs, in that
financially, those are two different beasts, and it is
misunderstandings that largely come from conflating these
different things that make it more difficult for people to
understand the system and evaluate proposed changes.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-05 23:31:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years. I
grew up thinking of it as a retirement account. And since my
grandparents and my mother have done very well with it, the thought of
additional savings never entered my mind as a young person. The
government lulled us into this.
Oh, I'm not saying that people didn't/don't *think*
of SS as an individual retirement account, or that it hasn't
been promoted as one. I'm just saying that financially,
it is *designed* as insurance, not as an individual retirement
account. It has some features designed to make it *look*
more like an individual retirement account, primarily to make
it more palatable to some people, but it just isn't financially
set up that way. I don't think it's splitting hairs, in that
financially, those are two different beasts, and it is
misunderstandings that largely come from conflating these
different things that make it more difficult for people to
understand the system and evaluate proposed changes.
Best wishes,
Ericka
I was taking issue with the concept of the government "lulling" people into
treating SS as a complete retirement fund.

Cheryl
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-06 00:53:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cheryl Isaak
I was taking issue with the concept of the government "lulling" people into
treating SS as a complete retirement fund.
I have no position on that issue, not having paid
much attention ;-)

Best wishes,
Ericka
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-06 15:28:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cheryl Isaak
I was taking issue with the concept of the government "lulling" people into
treating SS as a complete retirement fund.
Yes, they have indeed lulled the public for years. But most people that
are able to save do, or they work for firms with retirement accounts.
Not necessarily because they didn't think SS wouldn't be "adequate", but
because their life has changed: higher mortgages, loans, etc. etc. Or,
they just wanted a more lavish lifestyle after retirement. Or were
concerned about possible health consequences.

What you're neglecting here is the huge numbers of people who can't
afford to send their kids to college nor to have meager savings, etc.
etc. not because they have "toys" but because they are the working poor
or flying just under the radar of a satisfying middle-class environment.

Ask anyone you know whether or not they are middle class and they will
tell you they are. But what truly constitutes middle class these days
is a matter for huge debate.
Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-06 16:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Cheryl Isaak
I was taking issue with the concept of the government "lulling" people into
treating SS as a complete retirement fund.
Yes, they have indeed lulled the public for years. But most people that
are able to save do, or they work for firms with retirement accounts.
Not necessarily because they didn't think SS wouldn't be "adequate", but
because their life has changed: higher mortgages, loans, etc. etc. Or,
they just wanted a more lavish lifestyle after retirement. Or were
concerned about possible health consequences.
What you're neglecting here is the huge numbers of people who can't
afford to send their kids to college nor to have meager savings, etc.
etc. not because they have "toys" but because they are the working poor
or flying just under the radar of a satisfying middle-class environment.
Ask anyone you know whether or not they are middle class and they will
tell you they are. But what truly constitutes middle class these days
is a matter for huge debate.
Dianne
Dianne,
If my parents, neither of whom are the brightest people I've ever met, could
figure out in the 60's that SS wouldn't cover their needs in the 90's and
on, even knowing that mortgages would be paid off and children long gone, I
can not understand how the average Joe can't. Both of them worked, I went to
college with loans and scholarships, 'cause by then there wasn't a pot to
piss in.

Every job I've worked (waitress on up) had at least one lecture about saving
for the future BECAUSE SS would not be adequate. Part of those lectures
featured savings bonds or other ways to put away income for retirement use.


And why would the government want hundreds of starving elderly? Sounds to me
like a block of angry voters.


Cheryl
Dr. Brat
2005-01-06 04:54:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Huh? You're still trying to analyze this as if it was
an individual retirement account. It isn't. It's an insurance
system.
When it comes to social security in the U.S., I think that's splitting
hairs and has changed as the propoganda has changed through the years. I
grew up thinking of it as a retirement account.
My father is 84. It was always my understanding from him that social
security was supposed to catch you if you fell but that the best thing
would be not to fall.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Lucretia Borgia
2005-01-03 21:45:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Mr. Average receives the
average monthly benefit from age 65 to age...hmmm...what's
the current life expectancy?...looks like if you're 65 years
old now, your life expectancy is about 18 more years, so that's
216 months at $815/month, which is $176,040. So, Mr. average
is getting more out than he put in.
That's computing life expectancy from the age of 65. In truth, the
average life expectacy is around 73 yrs or so (or 8 more years). I
think what Gary was getting at is that most people die long before they
use up their social security. I was wondering how true that was. Hmmmm.
Dianne
I heard the other day (on the radio) that the average life expectancy
for a woman had remained the same at 82 and that men had crept up a
little to 78.

I am not your math specialist, but did the government invest your
contributions over the years? So might not the total actually be
worth more than just the total of the payments?

Early morning I listen to Biznet on CBC Radio. Some economist was
talking about the US economy (sorry didn't catch his name, my ears
only pricked up at a later statement he made) and saying that until
the US dollar peaks and in effect devalues itself, things will get
worse. He said worst of all (this is where my ears went up thinking
of things Dianne has said) is the mid-west, particularly Michigan
where unbelievably they made less cars than we did in Canada. Who
would have thunk it.
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Ericka Kammerer
Of course, you also have to compute based on the
time value of money and adjust for risk, but the numbers
you put into those equations are a lot more dicey.
Best wishes,
Ericka
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-03 23:01:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lucretia Borgia
I am not your math specialist, but did the government invest your
contributions over the years? So might not the total actually be
worth more than just the total of the payments?
No. They spent it. It's one huge IOU. Therein lies the problem!
It is so complicated, I have yet to figure this all out. And I've heard
one expert after another on NPR try to explain it. I still don't get
it. Everyone has a different slant.
Post by Lucretia Borgia
Early morning I listen to Biznet on CBC Radio. Some economist was
talking about the US economy (sorry didn't catch his name, my ears
only pricked up at a later statement he made) and saying that until
the US dollar peaks and in effect devalues itself, things will get
worse. He said worst of all (this is where my ears went up thinking
of things Dianne has said) is the mid-west, particularly Michigan
where unbelievably they made less cars than we did in Canada. Who
would have thunk it.
Yes, the mid-west is in for some serious, serious problems. Amd I'm
stuck right in the middle of it. My daughter's husband is job hunting.
Everyone has told him: forget the midwest. Which means they'll have
to move and I'll lose my family!!

Dianne
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-04 00:17:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
Post by Lucretia Borgia
I am not your math specialist, but did the government invest your
contributions over the years? So might not the total actually be
worth more than just the total of the payments?
No. They spent it. It's one huge IOU.
But that's not really even the issue in this instance,
as the system wasn't even designed to use an individual's
contribution (plus the earnings) to "repay" that same individual.
It was designed as a use-current-contributions-to-pay-current-
recipients system. The surplus is completely an artifact of
there being a high enough ratio of people paying in to people
receiving benefits (which, of course, changes with an aging
population).

Best wishes,
Ericka
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-04 00:13:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Lucretia Borgia
I heard the other day (on the radio) that the average life expectancy
for a woman had remained the same at 82 and that men had crept up a
little to 78.
It varies from country to country, and also how they
define it. The "life tables" they get the info from usually
give remaining life expectancy for each age. So, for instance,
it would say a 1yo today would be expected to live 72 more
years and a 65yo today would be expected to live 18 more years.
So, sometimes people mean different things when they say
"life expectancy is"--maybe they mean the life expectancy
of a baby born today, or maybe they mean something else.
Post by Lucretia Borgia
I am not your math specialist, but did the government invest your
contributions over the years? So might not the total actually be
worth more than just the total of the payments?
In the US, contributions are not invested. It is not
an individual retirement plan. Current contributions are
distributed to current recipients (typically those who are
currently contributing are not the same people who are
currently receiving). There is no money in the system with
your particular name on it.
Now, if you are comparing social security to a
private scheme, of course you do have to take both risk
and the time value of money into account. $285 (or
whatever it was) invested monthly over the course of
40 years would earn some amount of interest and be
worth significantly more than $136,000. On the other
hand, there would also be the possibility that it
would be worth less or worth nothing at all depending
on the risk of the investment. I could calculate
the future value of that investment, but you'd have
to give me an interest rate and we could argue all
day about what that ought to be and how to account for
the commensurate risk ;-)

For example, you ought to be able to get
pretty low risk investments that would pay out 4 percent.
At that rate, $285/month for 40 years would be worth
about $337,000 (everything in current dollars). But,
then you also have to figure out how this affects the
payout as well (i.e., you need to be able to withdraw
enough money for enough time).
The main difference between a private investment
and social security is that with social security you're
guaranteed a certain payout, starting at a certain time
and continuing until your death. With a private investment,
your payout depends on the amount you've been able to
invest and your rate of return (or lack thereof) and
it lasts as long as it lasts. So, as usual, you're
trading risk against return. Social security offers
less return, but at less risk. And, of course, the
amount of return is less sensitive to the amount
paid in than is the case in a private investment.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-04 12:49:13 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ericka

I got my data from the Mortality Tables of the World Health Assn.
In the year 2000 it showed 76.9 years as the average life expectancy.
Breaking this down to male/female in 2001 to 74.6 male/79.8 female.
Those living HEALTHY in 2001 were less, 67.2 male/71.3 female.
Health Expenses per capita in 2001 was $4,887.00
Medicare BEGAN in 1966 at 2.9% of your earned income.
Medicare pays nothing if you own an asset or have additional income.

When figuring your MONTHS of collecting Social Security, you start
collecting at AGE 66 NOT age 65.
In MOST families, both Husband and Wife paid into the System.
If the Husband dies at 74.6 years (avg.) He is only collecting 103.2
MONTHS, NOT 216 as you indicated.
Upon his death, the spouse can now collect the higher of the two
amounts, hers or her husbands.

Using your figure of $136,800.00 for each individual with each
collecting $815.00 per month. This is what the REAL numbers would
look like.

Out of the combined pool 136.8k x 2 = 273.6k total paid in.
For 103.2 months BOTH collect 815 each month or $1,630.00 per month
out of their pot, which comes to $168,216.00 leaving $105,384.00 in
the pot.
For the NEXT 5.2 years (62.4 months), the wife will collect the higher
amount, in this example $815.00 per month for a total collection of
$50,856.00 leaving $54,528.00 in the Pot when both parties are dead.

FWIW - I have run the numbers regarding Social Security at least 50
different ways, based on the information supplied by various reputable
organizations (not the governments own figures), and in ALL CASES
(since 1962), the amounts paid into Social Security (for retirement
purposes) has greatly exceeded the amounts paid out (for retirement
purposes).

Social Security Disability Payments are another matter entirely.
For many who fell sick first and then became disabled due to a long
term illness taking it's toll, they are ineligible for Social Security
Disability Payments. For most 20 of your 35 work credits MUST have
been earned in the last 10 years.

My recently arrived Social Security STATEMENT clearly states that "I"
do not have enough credits in the right time period to be eligible for
Disability Payments. Nor have I ever collected such payments in the
past.

My late wife Ruth passed away at age 56 after being totally disabled
for almost 5 years. After her major heart attack, she attempted to
return to work Part Time. This caused her credits to shift, thus
reducing her later disability income considerably.
Nonetheless, she collected back less than 1/4 of the funds she put
into Social Security, leaving over $80,000.00 in her pot.
Had I not remarried, I could have drawn her higher retirement amount
when I retired, instead of taking from my own pot.

TTUL
Gary
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-04 15:07:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Ericka
I got my data from the Mortality Tables of the World Health Assn.
In the year 2000 it showed 76.9 years as the average life expectancy.
Sorry, I don't see those tables, so can't comment.
That's not in line with what I found.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Breaking this down to male/female in 2001 to 74.6 male/79.8 female.
Those living HEALTHY in 2001 were less, 67.2 male/71.3 female.
Health Expenses per capita in 2001 was $4,887.00
Medicare BEGAN in 1966 at 2.9% of your earned income.
Medicare pays nothing if you own an asset or have additional income.
Do you mean Medicare, or Medicaid?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
When figuring your MONTHS of collecting Social Security, you start
collecting at AGE 66 NOT age 65.
In MOST families, both Husband and Wife paid into the System.
...and?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
If the Husband dies at 74.6 years (avg.) He is only collecting 103.2
MONTHS, NOT 216 as you indicated.
As I said, I was simply going with the CDC figures.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Upon his death, the spouse can now collect the higher of the two
amounts, hers or her husbands.
Using your figure of $136,800.00 for each individual with each
collecting $815.00 per month. This is what the REAL numbers would
look like.
Out of the combined pool 136.8k x 2 = 273.6k total paid in.
For 103.2 months BOTH collect 815 each month or $1,630.00 per month
out of their pot, which comes to $168,216.00 leaving $105,384.00 in
the pot.
For the NEXT 5.2 years (62.4 months), the wife will collect the higher
amount, in this example $815.00 per month for a total collection of
$50,856.00 leaving $54,528.00 in the Pot when both parties are dead.
Your figures hinge completely on the life expectancy
values you used. I still have yet to be convinced that the
CDC table is inappropriate in some way.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
FWIW - I have run the numbers regarding Social Security at least 50
different ways, based on the information supplied by various reputable
organizations (not the governments own figures), and in ALL CASES
(since 1962), the amounts paid into Social Security (for retirement
purposes) has greatly exceeded the amounts paid out (for retirement
purposes).
Well, I don't know that I have the information to hand
to do the *right* calculation. Okey dokey, how about I use
the SSA's own formula. I'll create a person turning 65 1/1/2005,
benefits to be distributed starting at 66 years 0 months, person
to have earned the national average wage from age 17 to age 65. This
person would be eligible for benefits next year of $1312/month.
This person would have contributed $46,642 over the years of
employment. At that rate, it would take only 3 years to get
back every dime you put in, making the difference between a
life expectancy of 8 or 18 years pretty moot. Obviously, that's
not accounting for interest or the time value of money.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-05 15:12:38 UTC
Permalink
Hi Ericka

If they ONLY contributed 46k during their entire working career, they
WOULD NOT be getting back $1,300.00 per month!

The amount you get back is calculated on the total amount you paid in
using an additional current earnings rate multiplier.

It would easily be less than 1/2 of the amount you indicated, and
probably much less than that.

In fact, I know of no one personally that is getting anywhere near the
13 hundred dollar figure you quoted.

My mother 84, gets like 680 a month less 45 for insurance, based on my
deceased fathers income.
My Mother-in-law 86, gets 540 a month less 45 for insurance, based on
her deceased husbands income.

My contributions to the SSA are already double the figure you quoted,
yet:
If I retired I would only get $677.00 a month, unless I wait until I'm
70 then I would get $898.00 a month at my current earnings rate.
And this figure goes down each year, not up, because I am
semi-retired, so my current earnings rate is zilch.

Ironically, the SSA does make up a little, if I should die today, my
spouse would get an extra 100 bucks per month by drawing on my instead
of her SSA contributions. But that amount will be deducted from based
on her income from her IRA.....

TTUL
Gary
Dianne Lewandowski
2005-01-05 15:47:27 UTC
Permalink
While your mother's monthly SS benefits are paltry, there is another
equation to your interesting posts. :-)

Back when SS first started, the housing costs weren't so skewed. Most
people paid off their mortgages in 15 years. I remember working in the
Savings & Loan industry in the 1970's and the ratio of income to
mortgage was *far* different than today.

So, people could work for 15 or 20 years and their home was paid for.
This made a huge difference at retirement age. It also helped the
family finances and allowed for savings accounts after that mortgage was
paid.

This is no longer true. Most people have 30-year mortgages. Housing
costs are highly inflated, the ratio of income to mortgage debt is out
of whack. If you purchase a home in your mid-30's (common today), get
into financial trouble and have to refinance in your 40's, you're not
going to be able to pay off that mortgage by retirement age. SS will be
inadequate.

Dianne
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Ericka
If they ONLY contributed 46k during their entire working career, they
WOULD NOT be getting back $1,300.00 per month!
The amount you get back is calculated on the total amount you paid in
using an additional current earnings rate multiplier.
It would easily be less than 1/2 of the amount you indicated, and
probably much less than that.
In fact, I know of no one personally that is getting anywhere near the
13 hundred dollar figure you quoted.
My mother 84, gets like 680 a month less 45 for insurance, based on my
deceased fathers income.
My Mother-in-law 86, gets 540 a month less 45 for insurance, based on
her deceased husbands income.
My contributions to the SSA are already double the figure you quoted,
If I retired I would only get $677.00 a month, unless I wait until I'm
70 then I would get $898.00 a month at my current earnings rate.
And this figure goes down each year, not up, because I am
semi-retired, so my current earnings rate is zilch.
Ironically, the SSA does make up a little, if I should die today, my
spouse would get an extra 100 bucks per month by drawing on my instead
of her SSA contributions. But that amount will be deducted from based
on her income from her IRA.....
TTUL
Gary
--
"The Journal of Needlework" - The E-zine for All Needleworkers
http://journal.heritageshoppe.com
Brenda
2005-01-05 16:41:05 UTC
Permalink
When I went to college in the 80's parents were expected to take out a
home equity loan to fund their children's education. For many that is
no longer an option because they either don't have enough equity in
their home or can't afford the additional payment. That is another
reason why students need to take out more loans of their own to attend
college.

Since we bought our house at age 35, we are scheduled to finish paying
off the mortgage just in time to retire. DD will be in college about
halfway through the repayment. While it would be lovely to accelerate
payments once the annual interest paid gets down so low we can't
itemize, it might not be possible if we have to make tuition payments at
that time. We also feel we must spend quite a bit more than earlier
generations for life insurance. If I die early, DH will need to pay for
child care and a cleaning person in addition to all the regular bills.
If he dies, I will need to have a huge cushion to live on until I can
find a job and will also need to pay for child care on top of
everything. And that's assuming there are no huge medical bills
involved in either case.

My parents bought a house when I was two and finished paying the
mortgage before I went to college. Unless I become the next Ken
Jennings or we have some other huge windfall, that ain't gonna happen
for us.
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
While your mother's monthly SS benefits are paltry, there is another
equation to your interesting posts. :-)
Back when SS first started, the housing costs weren't so skewed. Most
people paid off their mortgages in 15 years. I remember working in the
Savings & Loan industry in the 1970's and the ratio of income to
mortgage was *far* different than today.
So, people could work for 15 or 20 years and their home was paid for.
This made a huge difference at retirement age. It also helped the
family finances and allowed for savings accounts after that mortgage was
paid.
This is no longer true. Most people have 30-year mortgages. Housing
costs are highly inflated, the ratio of income to mortgage debt is out
of whack. If you purchase a home in your mid-30's (common today), get
into financial trouble and have to refinance in your 40's, you're not
going to be able to pay off that mortgage by retirement age. SS will be
inadequate.
--
Brenda
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-05 20:26:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
While your mother's monthly SS benefits are paltry, there is another
equation to your interesting posts. :-)
Back when SS first started, the housing costs weren't so skewed. Most
people paid off their mortgages in 15 years. I remember working in the
Savings & Loan industry in the 1970's and the ratio of income to
mortgage was *far* different than today.
Where are you getting 15 year mortgages? 40 was standard at one point and
dropped to 30.
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
So, people could work for 15 or 20 years and their home was paid for.
This made a huge difference at retirement age. It also helped the
family finances and allowed for savings accounts after that mortgage was
paid.
This is no longer true. Most people have 30-year mortgages. Housing
costs are highly inflated, the ratio of income to mortgage debt is out
of whack. If you purchase a home in your mid-30's (common today), get
into financial trouble and have to refinance in your 40's, you're not
going to be able to pay off that mortgage by retirement age. SS will be
inadequate.
Dianne
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Ericka
If they ONLY contributed 46k during their entire working career, they
WOULD NOT be getting back $1,300.00 per month!
The amount you get back is calculated on the total amount you paid in
using an additional current earnings rate multiplier.
It would easily be less than 1/2 of the amount you indicated, and
probably much less than that.
In fact, I know of no one personally that is getting anywhere near the
13 hundred dollar figure you quoted.
My mother 84, gets like 680 a month less 45 for insurance, based on my
deceased fathers income.
My Mother-in-law 86, gets 540 a month less 45 for insurance, based on
her deceased husbands income.
My contributions to the SSA are already double the figure you quoted,
If I retired I would only get $677.00 a month, unless I wait until I'm
70 then I would get $898.00 a month at my current earnings rate.
And this figure goes down each year, not up, because I am
semi-retired, so my current earnings rate is zilch.
Ironically, the SSA does make up a little, if I should die today, my
spouse would get an extra 100 bucks per month by drawing on my instead
of her SSA contributions. But that amount will be deducted from based
on her income from her IRA.....
TTUL
Gary
Dr. Brat
2005-01-05 21:14:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
While your mother's monthly SS benefits are paltry, there is another
equation to your interesting posts. :-)
Back when SS first started, the housing costs weren't so skewed. Most
people paid off their mortgages in 15 years. I remember working in the
Savings & Loan industry in the 1970's and the ratio of income to
mortgage was *far* different than today.
Where are you getting 15 year mortgages? 40 was standard at one point and
dropped to 30.
15 is a pretty standard option these days and has been for a while
(almost 20 years now *whew*!). Never could see the point, myself, but I
was raised by someone who claimed that paying off a mortgage is
financially stupid. In a good market, you can always make more money
than you pay in interest on the mortgage. And without a mortgage many
of us would lose the ability to itemize our deductions.

Of course, that assumed a good market and the time to play it.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-05 21:52:30 UTC
Permalink
On 1/5/05 4:14 PM, in article
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dianne Lewandowski
While your mother's monthly SS benefits are paltry, there is another
equation to your interesting posts. :-)
Back when SS first started, the housing costs weren't so skewed. Most
people paid off their mortgages in 15 years. I remember working in the
Savings & Loan industry in the 1970's and the ratio of income to
mortgage was *far* different than today.
Where are you getting 15 year mortgages? 40 was standard at one point and
dropped to 30.
15 is a pretty standard option these days and has been for a while
(almost 20 years now *whew*!). Never could see the point, myself, but I
was raised by someone who claimed that paying off a mortgage is
financially stupid. In a good market, you can always make more money
than you pay in interest on the mortgage. And without a mortgage many
of us would lose the ability to itemize our deductions.
Of course, that assumed a good market and the time to play it.
Elizabeth
I know the mortgage on my parents first house was 40 year, the second was 30
or 35. We currently have a 10, but did it so it would be paid off before DS
hit college age.

It make sense to have a low interest mortgage and keep it, but I remember
when interest rates were 18%.

But is it an interesting time to dabble in the market.

Cheryl
Ericka Kammerer
2005-01-05 20:39:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Hi Ericka
If they ONLY contributed 46k during their entire working career, they
WOULD NOT be getting back $1,300.00 per month!
The amount you get back is calculated on the total amount you paid in
using an additional current earnings rate multiplier.
Beg to differ. I put those numbers into the SSA's own
calculator (rather painstakingly, I might add) to get the
estimated benefit (using the detailed calculator). For each
year from 1957 to 2005 I put in a salary equivalent to that
year's average salary.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
It would easily be less than 1/2 of the amount you indicated, and
probably much less than that.
In fact, I know of no one personally that is getting anywhere near the
13 hundred dollar figure you quoted.
My mother 84, gets like 680 a month less 45 for insurance, based on my
deceased fathers income.
My Mother-in-law 86, gets 540 a month less 45 for insurance, based on
her deceased husbands income.
The average beneficiary of old-age insurance is currently
receiving $927/month (spouses $464). The reason most wouldn't
receive that much is that it is a rather generous estimate to
figure that a person would contribute the average salary every
year. Most likely, there will be more years when someone contributed
less than the average amount than years when someone contributed
more than the average amount.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
My contributions to the SSA are already double the figure you quoted,
And we have established that you and your family are
rather privileged, income-wise ;-) We are also fortunate.
I don't particularly expect that SS will be a mainstay of
my retirement income. But as I am fortunate enough to be
able to make provisions for myself, and others are not so
fortunate, it doesn't particularly bother me.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
If I retired I would only get $677.00 a month, unless I wait until I'm
70 then I would get $898.00 a month at my current earnings rate.
And this figure goes down each year, not up, because I am
semi-retired, so my current earnings rate is zilch.
I didn't sit down and really study the formulae SS uses
to determine benefits, and I don't know your fiscal details.
I just know that I used their detailed calculator and input
the average salary from 1957-2005 (estimating 2005, of course,
based on a projection of the recent wage increases). It may be
that this is the "sweet spot" for receiving benefits, but that's
what their own calculator calculated, so I suspect it's reasonably
accurate. You might double check by putting your own numbers into
the calculator and seeing if it still comes up with $677/mo for
you.

Best wishes,
Ericka
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-04 12:02:03 UTC
Permalink
Hi Dianne

If you noticed I didn't say ALL of those on Welfare!
I said "Those who THRIVE on Welfare" which is indicating an elite
group of people who make this their chosen profession.

Those who REALLY NEED and deserve Welfare, don't get it, or not enough
to help much.

Those who Don't Need It, but have learned to USE the system, get more
than double a lions share.

As an aside, medical is handled separately from social security as an
additional deduction from your paycheck under medicare.

Tax liabilities vary from state to state, county to county and city to
city, some locations are exponentially higher than other states.

Not ALL of what we pay under the guise of taxes are actual taxes, but
payment for services rendered (whether we want them or not).
But many states have some very unjust taxes, where there is no income,
nor exchange of money in trade, to offset the taxes imposed.

I think most of us would agree that a certain amount of taxes are a
necessity to maintain our governments and what services they do
provide.
Many of us are accustomed to paying some of these taxes out of money
we earn as a percentage of that income.
Most of us are used to paying taxes based on money we spend, again as
a percentage of how much we spent. (This is a form of DOUBLE
TAXATION, the money was already taxed when we earned it, and taxed
again when we spend it.) We can tolerate this ONLY because there is
an exchange of money to take those taxes from.

But what about all those additional taxes we pay where NO MONEY
changes hands to deduct the taxes from? These taxes are hidden under
many unique little names, but they all come down to one thing,
Personal Property Taxes, in some states called Wheel Taxes, Pet Taxes,
etc. (You paid tax on the income used to buy the tangible item, you
paid sales tax on the already taxed income when you bought the item.
Now you are required to pay a yearly tax on the item just because you
own it.)

In the State of Missouri and it's municipalities, where I was raised,
we have both Federal and State Income Tax, City Earnings Tax, Sales
Tax, Personal Property Tax, Excise Taxes, Vehicle Taxes, Pet Taxes and
of course County Real Estate Taxes.

In the State of Tennessee and it's municipalities, where I now live,
we have only Federal Income Tax, there is NO state Income Tax nor City
Earnings Taxes, Exhorbitant Sales Tax, Personal Property Tax under the
guise of a Wheel Tax, Vehicle Tax (only on licensed vehicles), Pet
Tax, and TWO Separate equally priced Real Estate Taxes, one for the
County as expected, and an equivalently priced Tax for the City.
(This makes the bottom line of Real Estate Taxes paid in Knoxville
more than DOUBLE of what I was paying in St. Louis.)

When you live on a fixed income, such as Social Security, there simply
is NOT enough money to cover all the taxes, unless we depose of items
we purchased to make our senior years easier to get through.

You may have scrimped and saved to buy a riding lawn mower, so as you
aged, you could still mow the lawn yourself. Personal Property Taxes
are a way for government to STEAL these items from you.

A VERY LARGE chunk of Real Estate Taxes is used to support the failing
public skewl system. Not for the necessities of education, but for
things like Wall to Wall Carpeting, Olympic sized swimming pools,
Massive sports complexes, etc.
When a person retires and is now living on a fixed income, their Real
Estate Taxes should be reduced down to only cost of services rendered.
They paid their fair share of the additional Luxury taxes all the
years they were working.
In addition, when a person retires, all taxes not offset by an
exchange of money in trade should be eradicated completely. Very few
upper Seniors drive, but they like to keep their car on hand for an
emergency. Even if they don't drive it, it gives them a sense of
security just knowing it's in the garage.
In states like Missouri, the Taxes on ALL VEHICLES, licensed for use
or not, is very high. The Personal Property Taxes on my vehicle were
over 600 dollars per year for 5 years, then they begin to decrease
slightly each year.
In Tennessee, NONE of the monies collected through the COUNTY Wheel
Tax goes for road use or maintenance. Instead it goes into the CITY
of Knoxville's coffer to build things like a new library (nothing
wrong with the library they already have) or another NEW SCHOOL in an
area of town where they already built two new schools already.
I have no idea why COUNTY MONEY goes to the CITY who already Taxes the
residents within the City boundaries an equivalent amount as the
County Taxes thus DOUBLING their tax burden already for no additional
services.

TTUL
Gary
Dr. Brat
2005-01-04 02:38:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Now add that 15.3 percent to your Federal Income tax percentage
bracket, if your in the 26% tax bracket, you are now paying 41.3
percent of your income, add to that all the other taxes you are hit
with, personal property, real estate, sales taxes, luxury taxes,
excise taxes, etc.
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so it's
not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Every GREAT country all throughout history FELL when their gross tax
collections crossed the 25% mark. The USA is well over 50% and
artificially being held together by people who keep hoping it will
change for the better. But instead, it just keeps getting worse!
The USA is not over 50%. The total tax rate is 45% which is the lowest
of ANY industrialized country. Americans pay less in taxes (and receive
fewer services in return) than any comparable country. If you don't
believe me, look it up. The information is readily available.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Brenda
2005-01-04 03:05:03 UTC
Permalink
These taxes aren't deductible from income tax for most people. Personal
property taxes are deductible only if the tax is based on the value of
the property instead of a flat fee or based on weight or other criteria.
Luxury tax isn't deductible as far as I know. Sales tax is deductible
from federal income tax only if you elect to deduct general sales tax
(not an additional "luxury" tax on vehicles or boats) instead of
deducting state/local income tax. If part of your real estate tax is a
special assessment which improves the property by adding something new
(for example, my hometown installed curb and gutter throughout the city
where such improvements did not already exist), it cannot be deducted.

Of course anyone who cannot itemize for whatever reason doesn't
specifically benefit from any of these. It is also worth noting that
while some of these deductions are allowed from Federal income tax, they
may not be allowed from state or local income tax.

The total tax rate figure is supposed to be some kind of average. I
believe Gary would be correct if he said there are some people who pay a
much higher percentage in total taxes than others--that is the nature of
averaging. Some of the people who pay the highest effective tax rate
are ones who can ill afford it. In any case, a total tax rate of 45% is
certainly over the 25% mark in his reference.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Now add that 15.3 percent to your Federal Income tax percentage
bracket, if your in the 26% tax bracket, you are now paying 41.3
percent of your income, add to that all the other taxes you are hit
with, personal property, real estate, sales taxes, luxury taxes,
excise taxes, etc.
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so it's
not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Every GREAT country all throughout history FELL when their gross tax
collections crossed the 25% mark. The USA is well over 50% and
artificially being held together by people who keep hoping it will
change for the better. But instead, it just keeps getting worse!
The USA is not over 50%. The total tax rate is 45% which is the lowest
of ANY industrialized country. Americans pay less in taxes (and receive
fewer services in return) than any comparable country. If you don't
believe me, look it up. The information is readily available.
--
Brenda
Dr. Brat
2005-01-05 20:15:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda
Of course anyone who cannot itemize for whatever reason doesn't
specifically benefit from any of these. It is also worth noting that
while some of these deductions are allowed from Federal income tax, they
may not be allowed from state or local income tax.
Duly noted.
Post by Brenda
The total tax rate figure is supposed to be some kind of average. I
believe Gary would be correct if he said there are some people who pay a
much higher percentage in total taxes than others--that is the nature of
averaging. Some of the people who pay the highest effective tax rate
are ones who can ill afford it. In any case, a total tax rate of 45% is
certainly over the 25% mark in his reference.
I don't know where Gary got the 25% mark and I don't know about the tax
rate of the Roman or British or Spanish empires so I wasn't disputing
it. What I was disputing was his statement that the tax rate in the US
is well over 50%. I believe him to be incorrect on that. My figure of
45% for total taxes is less than his figure of "over 50%."

Elizabeth
Post by Brenda
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Now add that 15.3 percent to your Federal Income tax percentage
bracket, if your in the 26% tax bracket, you are now paying 41.3
percent of your income, add to that all the other taxes you are hit
with, personal property, real estate, sales taxes, luxury taxes,
excise taxes, etc.
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so
it's not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Every GREAT country all throughout history FELL when their gross tax
collections crossed the 25% mark. The USA is well over 50% and
artificially being held together by people who keep hoping it will
change for the better. But instead, it just keeps getting worse!
The USA is not over 50%. The total tax rate is 45% which is the
lowest of ANY industrialized country. Americans pay less in taxes
(and receive fewer services in return) than any comparable country.
If you don't believe me, look it up. The information is readily
available.
--
Brenda
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-06 17:13:54 UTC
Permalink
Taxes based on a national average include both the very rich and the
very poor.

What percentage of taxes YOU pay is a divisor of your ACTUAL income.
And you have to include ALL of the taxes you do pay throughout the
year and figure this amount against your current income to come up
with a percentage.

And DON'T forget all the fixed taxes that have no income or exchange
of money in trade to offset these taxes.

Let's simplify this right down to a single tax item.
You own a vehicle, your state taxes this vehicle with a yearly
Personal Property Tax of $600.00

If you earn 100,000 dollars per year this tax is only .06% of your
income.
But if you only earn 5,000 dollars per year, this tax is 12% of your
income.

There are MANY Fixed Taxes we pay that have nothing to do with the
amount of income you earn, or the amount of money you spend.

Now, if I have 3 cars that are paid for, one for the wife, one for
myself and one for the kid in college, and each of them have a 600
dollar yearly tax on them. 36% of my income is going to Personal
Property Taxes. Now if all my other taxes combined come to 40% of my
income and I add just this tax of 36% of my income to it, I am paying
76% of my income in taxes.

YOUR ACTUAL tax percentage can ONLY be based on YOUR OWN INCOME!

Those on a fixed income pay the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE of Total Taxes!!!!!

Except for the unemployed of course whose taxes are OVER 100% of their
income.

The national average of paid taxes for the working class is around 40
to 45% of gross income.

Add to that the retired on fixed incomes and you will find the
national average suddenly jumps to over 60% of income goes to taxes.

Any TAX without a source of funds to offset the tax is nothing more
than THEFT by our government to TAKE AWAY that which is YOURS!

TTUL
Gary
Dr. Brat
2005-01-06 17:26:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Let's simplify this right down to a single tax item.
You own a vehicle, your state taxes this vehicle with a yearly
Personal Property Tax of $600.00
If you earn 100,000 dollars per year this tax is only .06% of your
income.
But if you only earn 5,000 dollars per year, this tax is 12% of your
income.
There are MANY Fixed Taxes we pay that have nothing to do with the
amount of income you earn, or the amount of money you spend.
On the surface, that tax has nothing to do with the amount of income
earned, but it does indeed have something to do with the amount of money
spent. It's possible that some states have fixed property taxes on
vehicles, but in the states in which I have lived, vehicle taxes have
been tied to the value of the vehicle. The tax on the vehicle is thus
DIRECTLY linked to the amount spent on it and INDIRECTLY linked to the
amount of income one has, because most people by the car that they can
afford.

Elizabeth (taxes aren't theft. Property is theft)
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-06 17:28:38 UTC
Permalink
Does the state you are in actually have a fixed tax on a car or is it slide
tax as the vehicle deprecates?

Now - I agree, there are all sorts of tax traps, but these are mostly on a
state level.
Cheryl
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Taxes based on a national average include both the very rich and the
very poor.
What percentage of taxes YOU pay is a divisor of your ACTUAL income.
And you have to include ALL of the taxes you do pay throughout the
year and figure this amount against your current income to come up
with a percentage.
And DON'T forget all the fixed taxes that have no income or exchange
of money in trade to offset these taxes.
Let's simplify this right down to a single tax item.
You own a vehicle, your state taxes this vehicle with a yearly
Personal Property Tax of $600.00
If you earn 100,000 dollars per year this tax is only .06% of your
income.
But if you only earn 5,000 dollars per year, this tax is 12% of your
income.
There are MANY Fixed Taxes we pay that have nothing to do with the
amount of income you earn, or the amount of money you spend.
Now, if I have 3 cars that are paid for, one for the wife, one for
myself and one for the kid in college, and each of them have a 600
dollar yearly tax on them. 36% of my income is going to Personal
Property Taxes. Now if all my other taxes combined come to 40% of my
income and I add just this tax of 36% of my income to it, I am paying
76% of my income in taxes.
YOUR ACTUAL tax percentage can ONLY be based on YOUR OWN INCOME!
Those on a fixed income pay the HIGHEST PERCENTAGE of Total Taxes!!!!!
Except for the unemployed of course whose taxes are OVER 100% of their
income.
The national average of paid taxes for the working class is around 40
to 45% of gross income.
Add to that the retired on fixed incomes and you will find the
national average suddenly jumps to over 60% of income goes to taxes.
Any TAX without a source of funds to offset the tax is nothing more
than THEFT by our government to TAKE AWAY that which is YOURS!
TTUL
Gary
Gillian Murray
2005-01-04 03:17:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Now add that 15.3 percent to your Federal Income tax percentage
bracket, if your in the 26% tax bracket, you are now paying 41.3
percent of your income, add to that all the other taxes you are hit
with, personal property, real estate, sales taxes, luxury taxes,
excise taxes, etc.
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so it's
not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Every GREAT country all throughout history FELL when their gross tax
collections crossed the 25% mark. The USA is well over 50% and
artificially being held together by people who keep hoping it will
change for the better. But instead, it just keeps getting worse!
The USA is not over 50%. The total tax rate is 45% which is the lowest of
ANY industrialized country. Americans pay less in taxes (and receive
fewer services in return) than any comparable country. If you don't
believe me, look it up. The information is readily available.
Elizabeth
Much as I dislike " me, too" posts, I want to concur with Elizabeth's
statement. I have worked in the Tax business for over ten years, so am not
totally ignorant with regards to the subject. We ARE fortunate here to pay
such a relatively low percentage in taxes. Now, those who are yelling about
health care being expensive, and drugs cheaper in Canada, might like to look
at the considerably larger amount that would have to be paid in to the
Government with a nationalised system.

Gillian
Lucretia Borgia
2005-01-04 03:38:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gillian Murray
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Now add that 15.3 percent to your Federal Income tax percentage
bracket, if your in the 26% tax bracket, you are now paying 41.3
percent of your income, add to that all the other taxes you are hit
with, personal property, real estate, sales taxes, luxury taxes,
excise taxes, etc.
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so it's
not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Every GREAT country all throughout history FELL when their gross tax
collections crossed the 25% mark. The USA is well over 50% and
artificially being held together by people who keep hoping it will
change for the better. But instead, it just keeps getting worse!
The USA is not over 50%. The total tax rate is 45% which is the lowest of
ANY industrialized country. Americans pay less in taxes (and receive
fewer services in return) than any comparable country. If you don't
believe me, look it up. The information is readily available.
Elizabeth
Much as I dislike " me, too" posts, I want to concur with Elizabeth's
statement. I have worked in the Tax business for over ten years, so am not
totally ignorant with regards to the subject. We ARE fortunate here to pay
such a relatively low percentage in taxes. Now, those who are yelling about
health care being expensive, and drugs cheaper in Canada, might like to look
at the considerably larger amount that would have to be paid in to the
Government with a nationalised system.
Gillian
But the fact remains that we can be ill and not pay a penalty or
bankrupt the family because of illness. I am all for government run
healthcare. It always puzzles me that Americans let insurance
companies run their healthcare. Who is it we trust the least ?
Insurance companies. Who wriggles right out of paying any chance
they get ? Insurance companies.

Before anyone says "Oh I don't want the government in my medical
files" that's a red herring spread about by insurance companies to
scare people. I don't believe the government has the time or energy
to wade through medical files, and if they did, it is not clear what
it would gain for them.

It always strikes me as very odd that America is the only modern
nation that does not have socialized medicine. They even have it in
Cuba.
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-04 13:41:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dr. Brat
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so it's
not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
NO they are NOT!
POSSIBLY starting this year Sales Tax might be deductible if it
passes!

Excise Taxes and Luxury Taxes have NEVER BEEN personally deductible!

Import and Duties taxes added to the price of goods we buy have NEVER
been deductible and we are PAYING sales tax on the Import and Duties
taxes added to the price of the product.

It was only a few short years ago that the collection of sales taxes
on the Excise taxes of certain products was corrected by showing the
excise tax separately on your register receipt and deducting it from
the sale price of the item before sales tax was added.
But you STILL CANNOT deduct these Excise Taxes from your Federal
Income Tax!

Most people are totally unaware of the many taxes they are paying and
being taxed upon again in the form of sales tax.

MOST city or municipal taxes imposed on tangibles over and above sales
tax is NOT tax deductible at the Federal level, although some states
do allow certain deductions for these taxes.

Does your CITY have a vehicle tax, often indicated by a window decal?
Does your STATE have vehicle tag tax, your license plate?
Do your tires have Excise Taxes on them?
Does your State, County and/or city collect a gasoline tax?

Do you pay ROAD USE Taxes on the GAS you use in your lawn mower, weed
eater, edger, hedge trimmer, generator, etc.?

WHERE ARE ALL THESE TAXES DEDUCTIBLE on the FEDERAL Voluntary Income
Tax From?

The percentage to income of tax a person pays is directly proportional
percentagewise to the income (if any) they do receive.
Taxes that have no income to offset the tax can throw the percentages
of taxes paid to income earned in some cases, especially those on
fixed incomes, over 100% of their gross income.

Take for example an elderly person on Social Security of 500 dollars a
month.
He worked his whole life and bought his home, it is now paid for, no
mortgage remaining. If his Real Estate Taxes on this home are
$2,100.00 per year, that drains his income from 500 dollars down to
325 bucks a month.
He bought a new car right before retiring so it might last through his
golden years. Personal Property Tax on this car is 600 dollars per
year, this drains his income from 325 dollars down to 275 bucks a
month.
He also has a 35 buck yearly renewal on the car, his faithful pooch
with a yearly tax of 15 bucks, and the taxes on his utility bills
which come to around 25 bucks a month. Sales taxes on his clothes and
groceries. Pretty soon he's down to under $200.00 per month to live
on. 300 of his 500 dollars having gone to taxes!

His health insurance cost is 350 dollars per month.
Utilities are 200 bucks a month.
Food is scarce only spending about 50 bucks per month.
Gas to get to the store and back, doctors appointments and to church
on Sunday uses about 10 bucks a month.
Daily incidentals, minor repairs, etc. take another 50 bucks a month.

That alone comes to over 650 bucks a month to squeeze out of the 200
bucks he has left over after paying taxes.

How long can you live with a monthly deficit of over 400 bucks a
month?

TTUL
Gary
Dr. Brat
2005-01-05 20:46:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Post by Dr. Brat
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so it's
not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
Does your CITY have a vehicle tax, often indicated by a window decal?
No.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Does your STATE have vehicle tag tax, your license plate?
No. It has an excise tax that is deductible from my federal income tax.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Do your tires have Excise Taxes on them?
I have no idea.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Does your State, County and/or city collect a gasoline tax?
I'm sure it does. It's part of how they pay for the roads that I use.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Do you pay ROAD USE Taxes on the GAS you use in your lawn mower, weed
eater, edger, hedge trimmer, generator, etc.?
I don't own any of those things. Ok, I own a lawn mower, but it's foot
powered.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
The percentage to income of tax a person pays is directly proportional
percentagewise to the income (if any) they do receive.
No it's not. Sure in simple terms, it is, but when all is said and
done, it's not and you know it isn't. The higher your income goes, the
more deductions you are likely to have and the less you are
proportionally paying. Not to mention that the higher your income goes,
the more likely you are to be able to pay someone else to figure out
your deductions.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Taxes that have no income to offset the tax can throw the percentages
of taxes paid to income earned in some cases, especially those on
fixed incomes, over 100% of their gross income.
That's a pretty extreme case, I'd say.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Take for example an elderly person on Social Security of 500 dollars a
month.
Seems pretty paltry to me. Where'd that figure come from? My dad's 84.
He gets more than that.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He worked his whole life and bought his home, it is now paid for, no
mortgage remaining. If his Real Estate Taxes on this home are
$2,100.00 per year, that drains his income from 500 dollars down to
325 bucks a month.
Pretty nice house, if he's paying that kind of tax on it. Has he
considered a reverse mortgage?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He bought a new car right before retiring so it might last through his
golden years. Personal Property Tax on this car is 600 dollars per
year, this drains his income from 325 dollars down to 275 bucks a
month.
Seems like that was a pretty bad decision, that purchase, unless he had
money put by to cover it.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He also has a 35 buck yearly renewal on the car, his faithful pooch
with a yearly tax of 15 bucks, and the taxes on his utility bills
which come to around 25 bucks a month. Sales taxes on his clothes and
groceries. Pretty soon he's down to under $200.00 per month to live
on. 300 of his 500 dollars having gone to taxes!
No sales tax on clothing or groceries in any state I've ever lived in.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
His health insurance cost is 350 dollars per month.
See, if he were willing to pay just a little more in taxes, he could
live somewhere with socialized medicine and eliminate this cost. But
seriously, has he looked into Medicare and Medigap?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Utilities are 200 bucks a month.
This one I'd say you're actually low on. Congratulations.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Food is scarce only spending about 50 bucks per month.
Gas to get to the store and back, doctors appointments and to church
on Sunday uses about 10 bucks a month.
Daily incidentals, minor repairs, etc. take another 50 bucks a month.
That alone comes to over 650 bucks a month to squeeze out of the 200
bucks he has left over after paying taxes.
How long can you live with a monthly deficit of over 400 bucks a
month?
Nice figures, Gary. Did you make them up, or are you talking about a
real person. If you made them up, then they're useless. If you're
talking about a real person, then I'm sorry. But I also have to say
that I don't know anybody who has their house paid off who lives only on
social security. Everybody I know who had the wherewithall to pay off
their house, also had some money put by, a pension, something... so your
example is essentially meaningless.

Perhaps you might want to try to console yourself by making a list of
all the things that are provided out of the money raised by the taxes
that you so desperately hate to pay.

I shouldn't even have engaged you on this, because frankly your opening
gambit of the mountains of paperwork you'll be buried under for the next
4 months should have told me that you're not rational about this
subject. For years I did my own taxes and it never took me more than a
week. If it takes you longer than that, then perhaps it's time to hire
a professional and save what remains of your sanity.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-05 21:49:51 UTC
Permalink
On 1/5/05 3:46 PM, in article
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Post by Dr. Brat
All of the taxes you mention are deductible from the Income Tax, so it's
not quite as cumulative as you make it out to be.
No, not all of them are - most are. Gas taxes are not deductible. Mileage
might be if you keep really intricate logs of your mileage.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Does your CITY have a vehicle tax, often indicated by a window decal?
No.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Does your STATE have vehicle tag tax, your license plate?
No. It has an excise tax that is deductible from my federal income tax.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Do your tires have Excise Taxes on them?
I have no idea.
Yes, as a former MA resident I can attest to that.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Does your State, County and/or city collect a gasoline tax?
I'm sure it does. It's part of how they pay for the roads that I use.
The State does, some counties do as well
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Do you pay ROAD USE Taxes on the GAS you use in your lawn mower, weed
eater, edger, hedge trimmer, generator, etc.?
I don't own any of those things. Ok, I own a lawn mower, but it's foot
powered.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
The percentage to income of tax a person pays is directly proportional
percentagewise to the income (if any) they do receive.
No it's not. Sure in simple terms, it is, but when all is said and
done, it's not and you know it isn't. The higher your income goes, the
more deductions you are likely to have and the less you are
proportionally paying. Not to mention that the higher your income goes,
the more likely you are to be able to pay someone else to figure out
your deductions.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Taxes that have no income to offset the tax can throw the percentages
of taxes paid to income earned in some cases, especially those on
fixed incomes, over 100% of their gross income.
That's a pretty extreme case, I'd say.
You're both forgetting people that have money in untaxed funds -State and
Muni bonds. The return is excellent and is untaxed at both the federal and
state levels.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Take for example an elderly person on Social Security of 500 dollars a
month.
Seems pretty paltry to me. Where'd that figure come from? My dad's 84.
He gets more than that.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He worked his whole life and bought his home, it is now paid for, no
mortgage remaining. If his Real Estate Taxes on this home are
$2,100.00 per year, that drains his income from 500 dollars down to
325 bucks a month.
Pretty nice house, if he's paying that kind of tax on it. Has he
considered a reverse mortgage?
Elizabeth - that's the taxes on my rental property, a small condo.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He bought a new car right before retiring so it might last through his
golden years. Personal Property Tax on this car is 600 dollars per
year, this drains his income from 325 dollars down to 275 bucks a
month.
Seems like that was a pretty bad decision, that purchase, unless he had
money put by to cover it.
Some times you need a new car, but since it devalues, it should decrease
over time.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He also has a 35 buck yearly renewal on the car, his faithful pooch
with a yearly tax of 15 bucks, and the taxes on his utility bills
which come to around 25 bucks a month. Sales taxes on his clothes and
groceries. Pretty soon he's down to under $200.00 per month to live
on. 300 of his 500 dollars having gone to taxes!
No sales tax on clothing or groceries in any state I've ever lived in.
Maine taxes clothing and groceries.

http://www.state.me.us/revenue/salesuse/homepage.html

And has an income tax. And taxes blueberries separately.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
His health insurance cost is 350 dollars per month.
See, if he were willing to pay just a little more in taxes, he could
live somewhere with socialized medicine and eliminate this cost. But
seriously, has he looked into Medicare and Medigap?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Utilities are 200 bucks a month.
This one I'd say you're actually low on. Congratulations.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Food is scarce only spending about 50 bucks per month.
Gas to get to the store and back, doctors appointments and to church
on Sunday uses about 10 bucks a month.
Daily incidentals, minor repairs, etc. take another 50 bucks a month.
That alone comes to over 650 bucks a month to squeeze out of the 200
bucks he has left over after paying taxes.
How long can you live with a monthly deficit of over 400 bucks a
month?
Nice figures, Gary. Did you make them up, or are you talking about a
real person. If you made them up, then they're useless. If you're
talking about a real person, then I'm sorry. But I also have to say
that I don't know anybody who has their house paid off who lives only on
social security. Everybody I know who had the wherewithall to pay off
their house, also had some money put by, a pension, something... so your
example is essentially meaningless.
Perhaps you might want to try to console yourself by making a list of
all the things that are provided out of the money raised by the taxes
that you so desperately hate to pay.
I shouldn't even have engaged you on this, because frankly your opening
gambit of the mountains of paperwork you'll be buried under for the next
4 months should have told me that you're not rational about this
subject. For years I did my own taxes and it never took me more than a
week. If it takes you longer than that, then perhaps it's time to hire
a professional and save what remains of your sanity.
It really varies state to state on the amount of paperwork your taxes
generate and your employment type. I deal with forms for the rental and more
for investments. My neighbor has a stack for her business and the one for
"self employed" (free lance computer geek) had a stack over an inch thick.
And these are in tax free NH. And there are more forms from the IRS for each
of these.

Cheryl
Dr. Brat
2005-01-06 04:48:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cheryl Isaak
On 1/5/05 3:46 PM, in article
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He worked his whole life and bought his home, it is now paid for, no
mortgage remaining. If his Real Estate Taxes on this home are
$2,100.00 per year, that drains his income from 500 dollars down to
325 bucks a month.
Pretty nice house, if he's paying that kind of tax on it. Has he
considered a reverse mortgage?
Elizabeth - that's the taxes on my rental property, a small condo.
Is your rental in NH? If so, it's hard to generalize to the rest of the
country. Our taxes are about $3600 a year, but our property is worth
quite a bit in a high market. I'd expect a property taxed at $2100 in
middle America to have a pretty good value. And even your small condo
would probably bring a nice reverse mortgage if you were to choose that
as a option.
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He bought a new car right before retiring so it might last through his
golden years. Personal Property Tax on this car is 600 dollars per
year, this drains his income from 325 dollars down to 275 bucks a
month.
Seems like that was a pretty bad decision, that purchase, unless he had
money put by to cover it.
Some times you need a new car, but since it devalues, it should decrease
over time.
Yep.
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He also has a 35 buck yearly renewal on the car, his faithful pooch
with a yearly tax of 15 bucks, and the taxes on his utility bills
which come to around 25 bucks a month. Sales taxes on his clothes and
groceries. Pretty soon he's down to under $200.00 per month to live
on. 300 of his 500 dollars having gone to taxes!
No sales tax on clothing or groceries in any state I've ever lived in.
Maine taxes clothing and groceries.
http://www.state.me.us/revenue/salesuse/homepage.html
And has an income tax. And taxes blueberries separately.
I've never lived in Maine, though. I have lived in Delaware, which has
no sales tax. *grin*
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
His health insurance cost is 350 dollars per month.
See, if he were willing to pay just a little more in taxes, he could
live somewhere with socialized medicine and eliminate this cost. But
seriously, has he looked into Medicare and Medigap?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Utilities are 200 bucks a month.
This one I'd say you're actually low on. Congratulations.
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Food is scarce only spending about 50 bucks per month.
Gas to get to the store and back, doctors appointments and to church
on Sunday uses about 10 bucks a month.
Daily incidentals, minor repairs, etc. take another 50 bucks a month.
That alone comes to over 650 bucks a month to squeeze out of the 200
bucks he has left over after paying taxes.
How long can you live with a monthly deficit of over 400 bucks a
month?
Nice figures, Gary. Did you make them up, or are you talking about a
real person. If you made them up, then they're useless. If you're
talking about a real person, then I'm sorry. But I also have to say
that I don't know anybody who has their house paid off who lives only on
social security. Everybody I know who had the wherewithall to pay off
their house, also had some money put by, a pension, something... so your
example is essentially meaningless.
Perhaps you might want to try to console yourself by making a list of
all the things that are provided out of the money raised by the taxes
that you so desperately hate to pay.
I shouldn't even have engaged you on this, because frankly your opening
gambit of the mountains of paperwork you'll be buried under for the next
4 months should have told me that you're not rational about this
subject. For years I did my own taxes and it never took me more than a
week. If it takes you longer than that, then perhaps it's time to hire
a professional and save what remains of your sanity.
It really varies state to state on the amount of paperwork your taxes
generate and your employment type. I deal with forms for the rental and more
for investments. My neighbor has a stack for her business and the one for
"self employed" (free lance computer geek) had a stack over an inch thick.
And these are in tax free NH. And there are more forms from the IRS for each
of these.
Well, I'd argue that self-employed is a special category. Most people's
taxes don't take months to do. Heck, one year I filed Federal forms
along with MA, IN, and OH state forms. Even that didn't take weeks and
I had the sale of a house to deal with along with everything else. Some
people's forms may take a while, but most people's don't and if they do,
then it's probably worth $250 to have them done.

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Brenda
2005-01-06 05:47:46 UTC
Permalink
$250 for preparation of a one inch thick stack of tax forms?!? That's
pretty cheap. It has been a decade since I worked for H&R Block but
even then we charged more than that. The highest I personally had to
charge any customer was $360 and that was for long form 1040 with 4
schedules plus Iowa and Nebraska state returns. That pile was nowhere
near an inch thick. It was $85 for just short form federal and Iowa for
those with only one W-2 and maybe one 1099-INT (obviously not requiring
Schedule B). We generally charged a set amount for each form although
we had the right to charge more if we had to spend an extraordinary
length of time preparing those forms such as when people would come back
into the office several times with stuff they forgot to bring (and
mention) on their first visit. We had to document how long we spent
working on each return although that was more to calculate our potential
throughput and determine employee bonuses (yeah, we got so many of those).

Family farmers often spend well over a month preparing tax returns.
Many of them are too cash poor at filing time to hire someone to do the
returns. Those returns are about the ultimate bureaucratic morass due
to all the special credits, write-offs, and assorted details required
(for example, the sale of animals held for breeding purposes is reported
on a different form than the sale of animals for slaughter).
Post by Dr. Brat
Well, I'd argue that self-employed is a special category. Most people's
taxes don't take months to do. Heck, one year I filed Federal forms
along with MA, IN, and OH state forms. Even that didn't take weeks and
I had the sale of a house to deal with along with everything else. Some
people's forms may take a while, but most people's don't and if they do,
then it's probably worth $250 to have them done.
--
Brenda
Dr. Brat
2005-01-06 13:56:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda
$250 for preparation of a one inch thick stack of tax forms?!? That's
pretty cheap. It has been a decade since I worked for H&R Block but
even then we charged more than that. The highest I personally had to
charge any customer was $360 and that was for long form 1040 with 4
schedules plus Iowa and Nebraska state returns. That pile was nowhere
near an inch thick. It was $85 for just short form federal and Iowa for
those with only one W-2 and maybe one 1099-INT (obviously not requiring
Schedule B). We generally charged a set amount for each form although
we had the right to charge more if we had to spend an extraordinary
length of time preparing those forms such as when people would come back
into the office several times with stuff they forgot to bring (and
mention) on their first visit. We had to document how long we spent
working on each return although that was more to calculate our potential
throughput and determine employee bonuses (yeah, we got so many of those).
Family farmers often spend well over a month preparing tax returns. Many
of them are too cash poor at filing time to hire someone to do the
returns. Those returns are about the ultimate bureaucratic morass due
to all the special credits, write-offs, and assorted details required
(for example, the sale of animals held for breeding purposes is reported
on a different form than the sale of animals for slaughter).
Post by Dr. Brat
Well, I'd argue that self-employed is a special category. Most
people's taxes don't take months to do. Heck, one year I filed
Federal forms along with MA, IN, and OH state forms. Even that didn't
take weeks and I had the sale of a house to deal with along with
everything else. Some people's forms may take a while, but most
people's don't and if they do, then it's probably worth $250 to have
them done.
--
Brenda
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Dr. Brat
2005-01-06 14:00:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brenda
$250 for preparation of a one inch thick stack of tax forms?!? That's
pretty cheap.
I'm not sure where the "one inch thick" measurement came in. I can only
say that my taxes are neither the most complex nor the least complex
(home office, rental property, multiple professional deductions, trust
fund income) and I pay $250 (currently, not a decade ago) to have them done.

My argument was not meant to cover the most extreme cases. I clearly
said "most people."

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Gillian Murray
2005-01-06 14:17:44 UTC
Permalink
Having worked at H&R Block for more than ten years, over an inch thick is
not totally impossible. When a tax return is assembled, and returned to the
client, the folder includes all relative papers (1099s etc), worksheets and
a copy of the return for the client to keep. This is their back-up material.
Additionally there is the return and envelope for the client to sign and
mail to the IRS. My only difficulty with this scenario is finding long
enough staples. <gr>. Actually in such a case thee may well be more than one
folder, but all would be put in the client's pick-up envelope. If someone
has rentals. a sole proprietership, farm etc Block has some dandy record
books for the taxpayer to use. These wpuld also be included in the pick-up
envelope.

I remember occasions when I had two thick envelopes rubber-banded together.
I clearly remember farmers who came in with grocery bags full of unsorted
receipts, and just dumped them on my desk!!

Clear as mud, huh?

Gillian
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Brenda
$250 for preparation of a one inch thick stack of tax forms?!? That's
pretty cheap.
I'm not sure where the "one inch thick" measurement came in. I can only
say that my taxes are neither the most complex nor the least complex (home
office, rental property, multiple professional deductions, trust fund
income) and I pay $250 (currently, not a decade ago) to have them done.
My argument was not meant to cover the most extreme cases. I clearly said
"most people."
Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate and
expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-06 11:57:28 UTC
Permalink
On 1/5/05 11:48 PM, in article
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Cheryl Isaak
On 1/5/05 3:46 PM, in article
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He worked his whole life and bought his home, it is now paid for, no
mortgage remaining. If his Real Estate Taxes on this home are
$2,100.00 per year, that drains his income from 500 dollars down to
325 bucks a month.
Pretty nice house, if he's paying that kind of tax on it. Has he
considered a reverse mortgage?
Elizabeth - that's the taxes on my rental property, a small condo.
Is your rental in NH? If so, it's hard to generalize to the rest of the
country. Our taxes are about $3600 a year, but our property is worth
quite a bit in a high market. I'd expect a property taxed at $2100 in
middle America to have a pretty good value. And even your small condo
would probably bring a nice reverse mortgage if you were to choose that
as a option.
It's a dinky thing, lots of upkeep and among the lowest valued properties in
town (condo wide)
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He bought a new car right before retiring so it might last through his
golden years. Personal Property Tax on this car is 600 dollars per
year, this drains his income from 325 dollars down to 275 bucks a
month.
Seems like that was a pretty bad decision, that purchase, unless he had
money put by to cover it.
Some times you need a new car, but since it devalues, it should decrease
over time.
Yep.
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
He also has a 35 buck yearly renewal on the car, his faithful pooch
with a yearly tax of 15 bucks, and the taxes on his utility bills
which come to around 25 bucks a month. Sales taxes on his clothes and
groceries. Pretty soon he's down to under $200.00 per month to live
on. 300 of his 500 dollars having gone to taxes!
No sales tax on clothing or groceries in any state I've ever lived in.
Maine taxes clothing and groceries.
http://www.state.me.us/revenue/salesuse/homepage.html
And has an income tax. And taxes blueberries separately.
I've never lived in Maine, though. I have lived in Delaware, which has
no sales tax. *grin*
I did a little more research - grocery staples, bread, milk, meat are not
taxed, all soda is taxed and some strange things are "prepared" foods.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
His health insurance cost is 350 dollars per month.
See, if he were willing to pay just a little more in taxes, he could
live somewhere with socialized medicine and eliminate this cost. But
seriously, has he looked into Medicare and Medigap?
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Utilities are 200 bucks a month.
This one I'd say you're actually low on. Congratulations.
That's about all mine are or were until oil prices doubled.
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
Food is scarce only spending about 50 bucks per month.
Gas to get to the store and back, doctors appointments and to church
on Sunday uses about 10 bucks a month.
Daily incidentals, minor repairs, etc. take another 50 bucks a month.
That alone comes to over 650 bucks a month to squeeze out of the 200
bucks he has left over after paying taxes.
How long can you live with a monthly deficit of over 400 bucks a
month?
Nice figures, Gary. Did you make them up, or are you talking about a
real person. If you made them up, then they're useless. If you're
talking about a real person, then I'm sorry. But I also have to say
that I don't know anybody who has their house paid off who lives only on
social security. Everybody I know who had the wherewithall to pay off
their house, also had some money put by, a pension, something... so your
example is essentially meaningless.
Perhaps you might want to try to console yourself by making a list of
all the things that are provided out of the money raised by the taxes
that you so desperately hate to pay.
I shouldn't even have engaged you on this, because frankly your opening
gambit of the mountains of paperwork you'll be buried under for the next
4 months should have told me that you're not rational about this
subject. For years I did my own taxes and it never took me more than a
week. If it takes you longer than that, then perhaps it's time to hire
a professional and save what remains of your sanity.
It really varies state to state on the amount of paperwork your taxes
generate and your employment type. I deal with forms for the rental and more
for investments. My neighbor has a stack for her business and the one for
"self employed" (free lance computer geek) had a stack over an inch thick.
And these are in tax free NH. And there are more forms from the IRS for each
of these.
Well, I'd argue that self-employed is a special category. Most people's
taxes don't take months to do. Heck, one year I filed Federal forms
along with MA, IN, and OH state forms. Even that didn't take weeks and
I had the sale of a house to deal with along with everything else. Some
people's forms may take a while, but most people's don't and if they do,
then it's probably worth $250 to have them done.
Elizabeth
Depends - do you have $200 to spend? is there a total lack of decent
preparers locally? Or have real privacy issues? Remember the guy I was
telling about across the street - he'd gossip about the taxes he did. No one
went to him after the 2nd year he was doing, but the damage was done.

Cheryl
Dr. Brat
2005-01-06 14:06:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Depends - do you have $200 to spend?
That's always a judgement call, isn't it? We plan on it, because doing
the taxes drove me crazy and I started to feel that they were complex
enough that I might not be doing them right.

It's my observation though, that people generally have the money to
spend on things that are important to them. People who have
fantastically complex taxes are more likely to have it than not, in
general. Not always certainly, but more often than not. Certainly the
originator of the complaint would be better off finding the cash than
tearing his hair out, since it drives him so nuts (In My Humble Opinion,
Of Course!).
Post by Cheryl Isaak
is there a total lack of decent
preparers locally? Or have real privacy issues? Remember the guy I was
telling about across the street - he'd gossip about the taxes he did. No one
went to him after the 2nd year he was doing, but the damage was done.
Isn't that legally actionable? It SHOULD be!

Elizabeth
--
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~living well is the best revenge~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
The most important thing one woman can do for another is to illuminate
and expand her sense of actual possibilities. --Adrienne Rich
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Cheryl Isaak
2005-01-06 16:21:27 UTC
Permalink
On 1/6/05 9:06 AM, in article
Post by Dr. Brat
Post by Cheryl Isaak
Depends - do you have $200 to spend?
That's always a judgement call, isn't it? We plan on it, because doing
the taxes drove me crazy and I started to feel that they were complex
enough that I might not be doing them right.
It's my observation though, that people generally have the money to
spend on things that are important to them. People who have
fantastically complex taxes are more likely to have it than not, in
general. Not always certainly, but more often than not. Certainly the
originator of the complaint would be better off finding the cash than
tearing his hair out, since it drives him so nuts (In My Humble Opinion,
Of Course!).
Post by Cheryl Isaak
is there a total lack of decent
preparers locally? Or have real privacy issues? Remember the guy I was
telling about across the street - he'd gossip about the taxes he did. No one
went to him after the 2nd year he was doing, but the damage was done.
Isn't that legally actionable? It SHOULD be!
Elizabeth
I did say he was a bit a dirt bag. And MIA I hear. No child support $$$


Cheryl
Liz Hampton
2005-01-06 17:39:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dr. Brat
That's always a judgement call, isn't it? We plan on it, because doing
the taxes drove me crazy and I started to feel that they were complex
enough that I might not be doing them right.
It's my observation though, that people generally have the money to
spend on things that are important to them. People who have
fantastically complex taxes are more likely to have it than not, in
general. Not always certainly, but more often than not. Certainly the
originator of the complaint would be better off finding the cash than
tearing his hair out, since it drives him so nuts (In My Humble Opinion,
Of Course!).
snip
Post by Dr. Brat
Elizabeth
That's exactly how I feel about our taxes. Ours aren't anywhere near as
complicated as they were several years ago but the mere thought of doing it
myself is enough to bring on a mini panic attack so it's worth every penny
TO ME to have them done by an expert. Our tax accountant is also patient
enough to wait until the refund comes in to receive payment. I would rather
do without the amount of money we pay him than to keep it and deal with the
stress of needing to handle it myself. :-))
Liz from Humbug

Liz Hampton
2005-01-01 21:16:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
I've always wondered why they call the New Year HAPPY?
snip
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
TTUL
Gary
It's because we're wishing that the new coming year will bring happiness -
not that we are suddenly celebrating instant happiness. I wouldn't
complain about a sudden onset of happiness, but it's the cumulative year
itself that we are looking at.
Liz from Humbug
Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
2005-01-02 19:00:44 UTC
Permalink
Good Thought Liz!

Maybe were celebrating that LAST YEAR is FINALLY OVER, hi hi.....

TTUL
Gary
Post by Liz Hampton
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
I've always wondered why they call the New Year HAPPY?
snip
Post by Gary V. Deutschmann, Sr.
TTUL
Gary
It's because we're wishing that the new coming year will bring happiness -
not that we are suddenly celebrating instant happiness. I wouldn't
complain about a sudden onset of happiness, but it's the cumulative year
itself that we are looking at.
Liz from Humbug
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