Farrell: Social Security will be there for you

  • Article by: CHRIS FARRELL
  • Updated: March 9, 2013 - 4:27 PM

Q: I read your response to an aggressive saver who wanted to retire at age 52. I am even younger, 47, with $500,000 saved in tax-deferred accounts. My question: Have I saved enough that if I do not touch my savings, can I retire sometime between 59 and 62 even if I don’t save anymore? I expect to need $50,000 a year in today’s dollars and am not counting on Social Security.

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smarterthanuMar. 10, 13 9:17 AM

THANK YOU, Chris! I work for a state agency and I have a lot more confidence in Social Security than I do in my pension. And we all know how reliable 401k-type plans are.

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shushyn78Mar. 10, 1310:51 AM

While I like to read Mr. Farrell' s columns, he doesn't have a crystal ball. If I had money in the bank, but my brother-in-law took it to finance his new house and replaced it with an IOU and his promise to pay, the money is still gone. Anyone that counts on SS to be there in its present form is not on solid ground. You can only count on yourself for your future. Massive changes afoot for future retirees is guaranteed.

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george13Mar. 10, 1311:44 AM

Chris is absolutely right. SS is the only security that us 99 percenters have. If you think your 401k and real estate is going to be there for you you had better think again. Just have a conversation with anyone who thought they were going to retire in 2009- they're not hard to find.

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moremoretaxMar. 10, 13 1:51 PM

Really, are you sure, because I never envisioned our deficit north of 16 trillion dollars. We are taking in about 3 billion per day, yet we are spending about 11 billion per day. I hope youre right, but who can really say......

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jd55604Mar. 10, 13 4:10 PM

Why anyone would put their faith in a government run ponzi scheme whose present assets are less than their future liabilities is beyond me. It's troubling that the peoples' need to believe outweighs reality.

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mauianMar. 11, 13 9:44 PM

Social Security funds can only be invested in US Treasuries by law. That creates problems and potentially bigger problems for Social Security. First of all, US Treasuries are in an all time high bubble, ripe for bursting. Secondly, the near zero % interest rates set by the Fed are killing Social Security to the tune of a decade sooner than previously thought. Courts have ruled that banks and financial institutions can steal your money if they do so during bankruptcy (See MF Global. Sentinel, etc). I don't see how Social Security would be immune to Wall Street greed. I don't envision the current President or Congress doing anything to stop them from stealing your retirement. I'm glad you have confidence that Social Security will be there for us, but think your confidence is naive at best. How many bankers have you seen slapped with criminal charges in the past 10 years? Murderous drug cartel money laundering, laundering money for Iran, laundering money for the Mafia, rigging LIBOR rates, etc. No criminal charges. And yet you somehow have faith they won't steal your Social Security. Good luck with that.

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hjlazniMar. 12, 1310:22 AM

Lets see, there will be two workers for every retired person and the workers will have less and less connection to the retired as more jobs leave the country or are filled in the U.S. by aliens as the retired and their own kids had fewer children. I am sure they will agree to give much of their income to retired people so the retired can live in 500 sq. ft. per person, own a car, eat in restaurants, have expensive cosmetic surgery and medical care to live a long time and pills to keep having sex. Good luck.

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dunc0029Mar. 15, 13 7:50 AM

Personally, I've always done my retirement planning as if SS will not be there. Better safe than sorry. If it's still around, then it's icing on the cake. If I do get SS checks, I'll just donate them to charity out of "spite", because I resent the idea that we need the government to do our retirement saving for us. The answer to the asker's question is that it will obviously depend on market performance, but you will probably be just about where you want to be, assuming average returns and a 4% safe w/d rate. Of course, I would recommend continuing to save if that is possible.

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