Letter to the editor: Social Security anxiety

I scan the web for information on many topics and opinions. I’m fascinated how easy it is for misinformation to shape individual opinions and frequently resulting in policy changes. Here’s a recent example.

Note the “Congress couldn’t mess with it and misuse its funds.” Not true at all. Congress has not misused the funds.

And then we have the philosophy that to get out of the funding mess we should abandon the eighty plus year funding method for Social Security and simply shift the problem to higher income Americans in an attempt to correct a distorted view of fairness.

“I was not OK.” “Despite Social Security assurances?” Based on what the writer below says, why would there have been any surprise at the financial impact of a spouses death? Sorry, I don’t get it. No sympathy either.

Letter to the editor:

Social Security anxiety TRIBUNE-REVIEW | Monday, March 15, 2021 8:00 a.m.

I felt compelled to respond to Tom Purcell’s column “Biden, Social Security, my retirement and the wealthy” (Feb. 15, TribLIVE). I remember going through the same anxiety prior to my retirement. My husband and I had been paying into Social Security from around 1960 until we retired together around 2000. With each of us having Social Security checks coming in, we were OK.

However, when my husband died in 2014, and despite Social Security assurances, I was not OK. Had it not been for some pensions we had, I would be struggling today. If the private pension plan had been in place for Social Security so Congress couldn’t mess with it and misuse its funds, we would have no concerns about its fiscal survival.

Those with the highest earnings got great tax cuts a few years back, so I don’t sympathize with their whining about raised Social Security payments.

The Rev. Nancy S. Mears Ligonier

Source: Letter to the editor: Social Security anxiety | TribLIVE.com

4 comments

  1. I just do not get it. What am I missing? We all know that we are one day closer to death each day that we wake up. That is why there is life insurance, to provide additional income for your loved ones, upon your death and that income is tax free. My wife and I started SS benefits at age 62. I get the comment all the time, what if you die, then your wife will be getting a much lower SS benefit, you should of waited, for the bigger check. Well, the SSA says that for the average retiree, you will get about the same lifetime benefit, no matter when you start benefits. Each person has to decide for their family when is the best time for them to start SS benefits. We needed the extra income that SS benefits provide now in our 60s, not later in our 80s, when the bigger check will probably go to the retirement home. Besides, you do not know how long you are going to live, so if you wait for your larger total lifetime benefit, it may not happen. I did the math and with a lower than average SS benefit, even if we waited for FRA, it did not seem like it would be worth the wait. We would only be gaining after age 77 and we would give up $66,976 in income from age 62 to FRA and it would take until age 77 to get that back. My life insurance will provide way more monthly income for my wife, then the small increase that waiting until FRA would provide. $833 for 120 months vs $320. One big factor for us, is that my wife only has a spousal benefit, so her benefit at 62 actually increased our total monthly benefit to $100 above my FRA benefit amount.

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  2. What I want to know is what ever happened to the proposed $200 a month for the year 2021 to help seniors?, it was headlined and proposed several Democrats including Elizabeth Warren proposed in 2020 but nothing ever came of it. Why? Everyone else is getting help except Seniors who received 1.3 COLA along with Medicare going up to offset a lot of it. Why were we overlooked, nothing at all on the internet as to why that proposal never was addressed!

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    1. Elizabeth Warren was not nominated or elected. It en is not reasonable to expect Biden to honor her campaign promises.

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