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Friday, October 28, 2016

Social Security Is Just One Part Of the Global Economy

Q: I’ll bet you got a lot of hate mail from readers after you printed the column in which you explained that a Canadian citizen could get American Social Security benefits — even if she moves back to Canada. Is it any wonder our Social Security system is in such trouble if we’re sending all of our hard-earned money overseas?

A. Actually, I didn’t get any responses to that column — and certainly no “hate mail” — other than your curious take on the situation.

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Copyright 2011 The National Memo
  • pbillp65

    Would anyone complain if a person retired after 30 or 40 years of work, and had his IRA retirement checks mailed to him at his address in Mexico? Then why shouldn’t we be able to get our SSA checks mailed to us anywhere in the world that we want to live?
    The problem is that people really believe that social security is some sort of government program that Congress funds every year from the income taxes that are collected by the IRS. This is a LIE that has been told over and over again by the Right Wing Media outlets like ABC, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh and his brethern on right wing radio.
    Look at you pay roll stub. On it is a deduction that says SocSec Tax and it was about 7% of your pay. Your employer matches that amount and the combined funds are deposited in an account at the SSA office. If you are like me you will see a second deduction that may read IRA or RET. I have 6% taken out for the IRA and my employer puts in 50% of that amount up to a total of 3% and that money is sent to a fund manager, in my case Prudential and deposited in my name. There are also deductions for Fed Inc. Tx and Medicare.
    If you look at the SocSec Tax and the IRA Deductions they are almost identical, the only difference being where the money is sent. The IRA goes to a “FOR PROFIT” Fund Manager who has overhead costs from 10 to 20% higher than the Soc.Security Admin overhead costs. So the outcome is that more of my money is invested in US Treasuries at SSA than at Prudential. I invest all my retirement money in US Treasuries because I have neither the time nor the knowledge to constantly monitor my retirement accounts to make sure they are actually growing and I am not losing money. If I want to gamble I can go to Vegas or Invest in the Stock Market with funds that I am not going to need to pay for food and electricity when I finally retire. Vegas is more fun, at least there I get free drinks and can see some really good shows. Wall Street is simply a real crap shoot with the odds stacked against me and I don’t even get any K-Y jelly, much less a free drink when my picks go south.
    This is what people do not understand, the SSA is simply a low cost fund manager who invests the money in T-bills, just like you would do in a very conservative Mutual Fund, but the cost of admin is negligible compared to a Prudential, or Putnam, and the opportunities for the Fund Manager to screw the small investor over just aren’t available with SSA, but they are with ‘FOR PROFIT’ Fund Managers. To insure that the Soc.Sec. system remains in place all we need to do is remove the earnings caps and include other income types such as dividends and capital gains monies. For after all as President A. Lincoln said, there is no return on investment, no capital gains or dividends with out labor. And if I want to go to Costa Rica to retire then money in my retirement plans, and the Soc. Sec. monies are mine, should be sent anywhere I want.

  • joeturner

    My wife never worked in the US. She never lived in the US. She contributed absolutely nothing to the US economy, except spending a few bucks when she was in the US on a holiday. BUT when she was 62 she received a social security check every month. Even she felt this was unfair and frankly, couldn’t believe it when it was first explained to her.

    This seems to be the example you should have used for the unfair distribution of US social security resources.

  • cadsuch

    You say that soc sec money was deducted from these former US workers and therefore I have to let it go. So how come BOTH parties are telling me that soc sec is on the table to be cut to balance the budget? The money was deducted from MY paycheck. So why you telling me former worker has more rights then I do? Soc sec is not a budget item. You say it is the former workers money, so it is MY money also.

  • LogicObserv123

    Really nice, INTELLIGENT AND THOUGHTFUL COMMENTARY. THANK YOU. There is so much stupidity and ignorance about SS in this country, largely spread by Repubs, who want their pals in the Securities, Banking and Insurance industries to get their “cut” of the 2.6 billion trust fund. They think they are “entitled” to that cut, as they are immoral, greedy pirates, with no concern whatsoever with the success or complete failure of anyone’s retirement portfolio. Any one that thinks they DO care is delusional.

    What IS important to them is volatility, not stability, not growth, since they make money going both ways. That the average high school graduate in this country receives NO education whatsoever about the securities business, about debt, about personal finances, about critical analysis and the application of logic is an abomination.

  • Anomis89

    I think that maybe this person has only basic knowledge and not depth knowledge about the importance of these social security and compliance, can not advise someone closely or may not have advanced technology to improve their knowledge. Perhaps this is why she always makes mistakes or that and the only thing it wants is to know people who work and so do the same work only in a more protected without requiring too much in return. There may be various reasons for her behavior is inappropriate.

  • Fearfull Ralph

    So your wife never lived in the US and never contributed a dime to SS but is getting a check. I find this fascinating since I have lived in the US for over 75 years and paid into SS for many of those years but most of my working life was not covered by SS so I am not eligible to get even one dime of the money I did pay in back from SS nor am I eligible for MediCare (and don’t think that I haven’t had a lot of arguments with medical office personnel trying to convince them that I don’t have MediCare) but I don’t mind not getting MediCare since my Insurance is far better although much cheaper nor do I really mind not drawing SS since my company pension is set up to be reduced by $2.46 for every $1 I get from SS. Your wife sounds like my neighbor’s wife who never had a paying job in her life but she gets a SS check because her husband had SS coverage.

  • mandinka

    No one in this country would object to returning her money that she deposited in SS. The objection is when illegals game the system and claim benefits under various SS numbers. They don’t have to provide proof just say they used them and then the money starts flowing

  • SKP


  • Hankk

    Social Security belongs to the person that put the money into the plan, I put it in for 43 years. Tax cuts/welfare for the wealthy & corporations so they could export millions of our nations good paying jobs for 30 years has crippled our country. With the part time minimum wage service jobs that have replaced a few of the jobs that were exported, the tax base is all but gone, thus our elected idiots first spent all of the money that workers put into social security and now borrow the money to be able to send out checkes to retirees and to run the nation, that my friends is why I call them IDIOTS. Then through the first 8 years of the 21 century the swift boat goons begin calling our paid for S.S. and paid for Medicare an entitlement that they (gop) have to eliminate. WHEN THE ONLY TRUE ENTITLEMENTS ARE THEIR WAGES,HEALTHCARE,RETIREMENTS, ETC. WHICH THEY GIVE THEMSELVES. Maybe we are the idiots for allowing this to happen, maybe we should all join the OCCUPY MOVEMENT AND VOTE EVERY GOP RUNNING FOR OFFICE IN 2012 OUT? hankk, MI