What do you fear about retirement?

Jun 21, 2010

The Secret to Social Security Is to Appreciate the Pleasure of Being Terribly Deceived




In a an article called 7 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Savings, Emily Brandon of USA News states, "Social Security is one guaranteed income stream that most retirees receive."

This was my comment along with some retirement quotes that I posted after the article:

    Your comment "Social Security is one guaranteed income stream that most retirees receive" is totally absurd!

    This reminds me of an Oscar Wilde quote: "The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly, terribly deceived."

    How can you say that the American Social Security System is a guaranteed retirement income stream?

    Even winning the lottery may seem like a safer bet.

    The Social Security Administration, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t have any funds in trust or investment accounts, such as stocks, bonds or savings accounts.

    The Canadian Government Pension Plan (CPP), on the other hand, does and I still don't consider the CPP a guaranteed source of retirement income.

    The entire American Social Security System is actually a giant Ponzi-type pay-as-you-go scheme that takes the payroll taxes of Americans who are still working and distributes it to American retirees.

    Individuals who promote similar "retirement plans" are charged and sent to jail once convicted.

    Interestingly, it’s OK for the American government to run such a Ponzi scheme.

    CATO Institute researcher William Shipman noted in a project, “Retiring With Dignity”:

    “Any surplus is not saved or invested for pensioners. Those funds are borrowed by the federal government to pay current operating expenses and replaced with government bonds. The federal government lends itself the excess in return for an interest-paying bond, an IOU that it issues to itself .... The funds are not invested for the benefit of present or future retirees.”

    What a brilliant idea, having the government borrow money from itself and issue IOUs to itself, promising to pay it back sometime in the future as retirement income to its citizens!

    This would be okay if the American government in itself wasn't so largely in debt that it can be considered bankrupt big time.

    So, would you trust an IOU from someone or an entity that is bankrupt big time?

    I still find it amazing that Americans are in denial that there is a problem with their Social Security System.

    Fact is, sooner or later there is going to be a massive restructuring of the system and Americans are going to find out that they have no Social Security, or very little, to rely on for a retirement income.

    The safest retirement income may be to have a retirement job, if they are still healthy enough to work.

    I semi-retired when I was 35 and had a net worth of minus $30,000.

    Even though I have worked less than half of my adult life, I can retire comfortably.

    The reason is that once I started earning even a modest income, I started saving over 40 percent, because I have never ever placed any confidence in government pension plans to guarantee a retirement income for me. My retirement plan, by the way, still involves some work.

    It was J.P. Getty who said, "People who don't respect money don't have any."

    This, along with relying on the government for a retirement income, precisely explains why so many Americans and Canadians will be broke in retirement.

    Ernie J. Zelinski
    Author of How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
    (Over 125,000 copies sold and published in 9 languages)
    and The Joy of Not Working
    (Over 250,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)

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