They ran a large pre-school while I was growing up.
My Dad was there every day, all day. In fact, many of his days started at 5:45 in the morning when he opened the school and didn’t end until 6:30 in the evening when the last students left.
All the kids loved Dad, and they were always seeking him out to show him an “owie” or to tell him about their latest adventure.
When the school first started, Mom was the cook. But she was no ordinary cook. She made sure the students had the best fresh fruits and vegetables, and a healthful main course. She checked the labels on everything and nothing was too good for "her kids."
Even after the school hired a professional cook, Mom spent countless hours trying to create a happy haven for the children. She was continually searching for great books, beautiful music, and constructive activities. It all mattered to her. She especially worried about the littlest students and made sure they each had their own soft snuggly stuffed animal to hug as they fell asleep at nap time.
My parents never made lots of money, but they tucked away what they could. And they faithfully paid a portion of every pay check into their Social Security account. They believed the government’s guarantee that the money was being safely saved for them.
Over the years, with payments and interest, they should have had a healthy retirement waiting for them.
Dad and Mom are older now. They live a simple lifestyle, and they count on their Social Security. Imagine their dismay to discover that the federal government has “borrowed” all of that “trust” fund money and spent it. Not just my parents’ money, but the money of millions of citizens.
Now, let’s pretend it was you.
You, and your employer, pay into your Social Security account every pay check. The amount totals around 15% of your income before taxes.
If your salary averages only $30,000 per year over your working life, you will pay close to $220,500 into your Social Security account.
If you calculate the future value of $4,500 per year (yours and your employer’s contribution) compounded at a simple 5%, after 49 years of working, you’d have $892,919.98.
If you bought an annuity and it paid 4% per year, you’d have a lifetime income of $2,976.40 per month. The average Social Security recipient in 2011 gets around $1200 per month.
But now, the President says he can’t guarantee you will be paid. It’s not that there isn’t enough government money to pay you. It’s that they never really saved the “Social Security” money after all. Other funds are limited now, and the President’s decided that honoring the commitment to senior citizens is not one of his priorities.
In other words, the government has "confiscated" the retirement savings of the senior citizens and the older folks just aren’t a priority now. Trillions have to go to the President’s massive new bureaucracy. He won’t negotiate on that.
Or at least the President wants to scare senior citizens enough so they will contact their Congressmen and beg them to raise the debt ceiling so the President can borrow more money. He wants another $2.4 trillion dollars to spend before the next election. If he gets it, he might even decide to send the Social Security checks.
At this point, you might be asking, “Why would anyone want to trust any of their retirement money to a government ‘Social Security’ program ever again?”
That’s a good question. It’s not so secure after all.