.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}


The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Saturday, May 28, 2016

2016 Check On Social Security Estimated Benefits

Recently stopped by the Social Security Administration (SSA) website to check on my benefits.  The address is:

First, some context with regard to my situation:

  • I was born at the start of the greatest decade ever: the 1970's

  • I worked in corporate America until 1999, when I decided it was time for me to do what comes natural to people with my personality: self-employment.

If I die this year, my daughter can count on around $659 per month from the SSA.

Notice that that one-time death benefit is for my spouse (I'm not married) or minor child is only $255.


In order for me to qualify for retirement benefits when I reach 65, I'd need 40 "credits" of work.   Currently, I have 37.



If I am not able to accumulate the retirement-minimum 40 credits by the time I'm 65, I will not qualify for Medicare.



The system is setup so that even when deserving folks apply, seldom do they get approved, as a matter of course.

Feeling useless is pretty much a death sentence for someone like me, so this is n/a.

NB: I don't understand why the SSA is offering me a link to apply for disability benefits when they've already let me know that I don't qualify.  ???????????


Bottom line: Based on these numbers, it's quite clear that one should always be realistic about Social-Security benefits.  Amen.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

--> www.FedPrimeRate.com Privacy Policy <--

--> SITEMAP <--

Monday, March 25, 2013

Social Security Disability Benefits: How It Really Works

Social Security Disability Benefits
Social Security Disability Benefits
There are now 14 million people receiving a disability check from the Social Security Administration.

"...In Hale County, Alabama, 1 in 4 working-age adults is on disability. On the day government checks come in every month, banks stay open late, Main Street fills up with cars, and anybody looking to unload an old TV or armchair has a yard sale..."
And there are plenty of other disability clusters all over the country.

A great story on how the Social Security disability system really works in the USA.

To listen to the story, you can access the MP3 audio here.

If  you like the story as much as I do, please consider donating to This American Life here, or to Public Radio in general here.


Labels: , , , , , ,

--> www.FedPrimeRate.com Privacy Policy <--

--> SITEMAP <--

Monday, August 23, 2010

Social Security and Prudent Financial Planning: Friends or Foes?

August 14, 2010 marked the 75th anniversary of Social Security, and since then national political debate has been heavily focused on the future of the program. Democrats wish to paint themselves as the sole champions for the working and middle class by opposing Social Security reform and reviling Republicans who even suggest that seniors don’t deserve the greatest income benefit possible. Republicans are digging their heels into the facts and figures surrounding the fiscal folly of a government-controlled ponzi scheme doomed to fail. Paul Krugman’s inflammatory column in the New York Times calling conservative concern for the future of Social Security “nonsense” has fueled even more heated debate in the blogosphere and on social networking websites.

Everybody is concerned about Social Security these days.

Debthelp.tv reported in 2009 how an SSA press release revealed that “program costs will exceed tax revenues in 2016” and “the combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2037”. The current debate ensues over what these numbers really mean and whether or not Americans should consider Social Security to be stable and dependable or at a crisis status.

Unfortunately, very few economists and financial analysts are making mention of the fact that a heavy dependence on Social Security benefits is not prudent financial planning, regardless of the stability of the program.

The National Academy of Social Insurance released a brief in May 2007 confirming that American retirees are not receiving proportionate income replacement when they depend on Social Security for their livelihood. According to NASI, retirees need to replace 70-80% of their income in order to maintain their quality of life, but Social Security benefits only replace about 40%. Furthermore, most American retirees depend on Social Security benefits for at least 66% of their retirement income, with SS benefits accounting for 80% among seniors in the lowest wage earning bracket. Any retirement fund that replaces less than half of the pre-retirement income should be supplemental, not a primary income source!

Yet, Washington is consumed with taking sides on the issue of reform instead of educating the public on how to do more toward securing their retirement through sound investing, savings, debt reduction, and entrepreneurship or other income supplement. Financial literacy is the real issue here, and too many Americans are so busy arguing about and depending on Social Security benefits that they miss the truth about how well these benefits can actually sustain retirees.

In a related article on Social Security I propose the following:

“It is not the government’s responsibility to take care of me in my old age...That’s my job. All of the wisdom we learned from our predecessors has been thrown out the window – we don’t have to live modestly and below our means so that we can save for a rainy day. We no longer have to be prudent for ourselves because we no longer believe that the dynamics of life can swing the pendulum to the unfavorable side of financial stability. Americans think that employers, politicians, and institutions of various sorts exist to take care of them, not to serve a specific purpose within a limited scope.”

Whose responsibility is it to plan for your financial future, and how heavily should anyone rely on government to secure their income replacement? No matter how you crunch the numbers, replacing income is hard work, and it would be wise not leave such a crucial function to the wits of elected officials who will retire well whether you do or not.

Labels: , ,

--> www.FedPrimeRate.com Privacy Policy <--

--> SITEMAP <--

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Social Security Projected to Go Bust in 2037

Social Security Trust Funds Projected to Go Bust by 2037Over the years, I'm sure you've been told many times that you shouldn't rely on Social Security to take care of you when you are old, tired and done with working. Today's news from the Social Security Administration (SSA) seems to bear that out.

By 2016, SSA programs will cost more than the taxes we all pay to keep them going. Moreover, by 2037, it's now projected that SSA coffers will contain nothing but dusty cobwebs. Here's a clip from the SSA press release:

"...The Social Security Board of Trustees today released its annual report on the financial health of the Social Security Trust Funds. The Trustees project that program costs will exceed tax revenues in 2016, one year sooner than projected in last year’s report. The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be exhausted in 2037, four years sooner than projected last year. The worsening of the long-range outlook for the Social Security program is due primarily to the recent economic downturn and faster reductions in mortality than previously assumed..."


--> www.FedPrimeRate.com Privacy Policy <--

--> SITEMAP <--

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Supreme Court Decision: Social Security Benefits Are Fair Game

Student Loan Debt Horror Story Years ago, when the government emptied my bank account in order to satisfy a portion of the student loan debt that I wasn’t repaying, I was floored. I could not believe that the government had the power to take away all my money in such a manner. It was a wakeup call that I won’t ever forget, and it was, quite frankly, one that I really needed.

From this day forward, many retired and disabled folks who receive Social Security (SS) benefits, and who’ve made the mistake of disregarding their student loan debts, may experience the same shock and horror that I went through when they get their next SS check.
Today, the Supreme Court ruled against Mr. James Lockhart, the 67-year-old retired postal worker who’s SS check had been cut by 15% in order to make payments towards his 20-year-old student loan debt.
Lockhart’s case was controversial in 3 dimensions:
  1. Lockhart defaulted on his student loan debt 20 years ago, which means that his SS benefits should have been protected by the Debt Collection Act of 1982.
  2. The Social Security Act stipulates that SS benefits should not be "subject to execution, levy, attachment, garnishment, or other legal process."
  3. Lockhart claimed that he needed every penny of his monthly social security check ($874) to pay for food and the medicines he needs to treat his diabetes and heart disease. James Lockhart lives in public housing.
Today’s Supreme Court ruling sorts out 2 conflicting rulings made by 2 lower courts regarding Lockhart’s case and another similar case.
The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against Mr. Lockhart because The Court felt that the Higher Education Act gives the government every right to take a cut of Lockhart's SS benefits.

However, the 8th Circuit Court made a contradictory ruling in a case that was separate from, yet very similar to, the Lockhart case. The case involved Ms. Dee Ella, a Kansas City, Missouri woman who defaulted on her student loan debt 20 years ago; the 8th Circuit Court decided that the Social Security Act and the Debt Collection Act should protect Ms. Ella from having her SS benefits offset by the government.

So, basically, the job of the Supreme Court was to decide which Act of Congress should trump the other: The Higher Education Act (or, to be more precise, the Higher Education Technical Amendments) won out.
So now it doesn’t matter how poor or disabled your are, it doesn’t matter if you need every penny of your SS check to pay for life-preserving medicines and food, and it doesn’t matter if you defaulted on your student loan debt 30 or even 50 years ago: the government can--and most likely will--offset your SS benefits if you default on your federally subsidized student loans.

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Labels: , , ,

--> www.FedPrimeRate.com Privacy Policy <--

--> SITEMAP <--



Entire website copyright © 2024 FedPrimeRate.comSM

This website is neither affiliated nor associated with The United States Federal Reserve
in any way. Information in this website is provided for educational purposes only. The owners
of this website make no warranties with respect to any and all content contained within this
website. Consult a financial professional before making important decisions related to any
investment or loan product, including, but not limited to, business loans, personal loans,
education loans, first or second mortgages, credit cards, car loans or any type of insurance.