worst ponzi scheme, ever!

A few weeks ago a thread about retirement benefits in one of the forums that I haunt caught my eye. As it stands I've got a little over 22 years before that time comes. I never really thought about this before, and figured I would get to it when the time is right. This was a good wake up call as it's something I really should have been thinking about far sooner. Doubly so with me contemplating a career and lifestyle change. I started talking with friends (I grew up with) and learned just how little we collectively understood it. I always thought it was just pay in for as long as you're working and when you're officially old you get it back on a monthly basis til you die. I was basically right, but there's more to it than that. After some lengthy conversations with the parents and some internet research I had learned enough to understand things more clearly. Suffice it to say I've worked long enough to qualify and will be able to collect when I retire. Now whether I collect enough to live off of is dependent on if I continue earning at my current rate until retirement. All that will change because the field I'm looking to get into won't pay near as well as what I do now, so I know this will reduce the monthly SS payout. And as we've all been hearing on the news lately, will SS even be solvent by the time it's my turn to collect?

I just now realized that I've been a lot like those kids who grew up and still believes the tooth fairy exists. I also don't have faith in our administration (past and especially present) to properly resolve this given that they bankrupted SS a decade earlier than predicted. I'm now convinced that my golden years will be spent on a geriatric crime spree to fund my gasoline, rice, and ramen habits!

How Social Security Works'ish


  1. I love your title. To pay or not to pay is for me since Im self employed. I only have 7 credits lefts so Im going for it. I may or not pay afterward. This is an eye opener Steve thanks for sharing it.

  2. The lower income earned in the new field may lower your benefits but if you choose a simpler life-style, your expenses 'should' be lower. Also, after retirement you can work and earn quite a bit without losing your benefits. The unknown as to what will happen in the future is what seems to get a lot of people..but nothing is guaranteed in life and we make do. You just have to decide if getting away from the rat-race is worth overly worrying about finances.

  3. Anon - True, but I'm taking inflation into account based on the friends and family who are trying to live off of SS benefits and can't make it.

    Being able to work without it affecting my benefits is of some comfort, but I'm really hoping if I work smart now I can avoid that.

  4. Essentially, we're paying into a system to support current retirees, but like a sinking ship, we're simply letting the women and children go first while we run out of life boats. It's kind of annoying, really. That's what pisses off a lot of younger workers these days...