2 votes

So just how does one live WITHOUT Social Security?

Originally published 2011-01-06 20:02:
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With all the energy now aimed at cutting Social Security (and not the Trillion Dollar Wars) by both political Parties (including Obama's own deficit commission), just how then is one supposed to live -- without Social Security?

Many jobs and occupations become unsustainable as you become older and older. People's physicial abilities and stamina simply diminish (through no fault of their own), and also the underlying technologies and skills required change and transform with time so rapidly that even well educated people can become de-facto obsolete in their jobs, and no longer marketable. And the stress level and exhaustion level for many jobs just aren't well suited for people that are in their 60s. Finally, its just a fact that health issues will make older people more frail, more vulnerable, and less effective than younger people. While there are some occupations that can be sustained into old age (successful book author, owning a successful business that's mostly run by others, etc.), many, many professions and occupations cannot be sustained. People simply need to retire, and they cannot just work until "they've fallen and can't get up" (and then how do the bills get paid?). Retirement is a necessity for most.

So to retire at the age of 65, you would need to create a yearly revenue stream for yourself that would support all of your expenses, and could last for up to 35 years.

So if you need $40,000-per-year to pay for all your housing/taxes/health-care/food/utilities/automobile/phone/internet/insurances/and other miscellaneous expenses, then this means one of two things:

1) You have savings of at least: $1,400,000.00 (40,000 * 35 years), and therefore can draw down $40,000 each and every year - until the point where you will eventually be totally broke then at age 100. Of course, if you live up to 100, or you have a major surgery or hospital procedure that Medicare won't cover, or you have some other unforseen expenses, then you're screwed anyway -- even with 1.5 million.

2) Your savings (however much that is) can be put into some investment that will predictably and safely generate back $40,000 a year, and also not lose its principal value. With interest rates at 0%-1% I don't know what the hell that would be -- such an investment simply does not exist.


So please tell me, how the heck do you retire without Social Security? This is just impossible for 95% of the population.

In today's times with the cost of living so damn high, people living from paycheck-to-paycheck, and Employers not giving raises, how does anyone possibly save up a whopping 1.5 Million dollars?

Most people can't even afford to buy one house (and those that do are borrowing virtually all the money).

And where oh where can you ever put your money and invest it in something -- such that it is not put at any risk, and can also generate back a steady $40K or so for paying all the bills over the course of the year?

There is no such investment. It doesn't exist.

So, for people who are not wealthy, what do you do without Social Security.

The vast majority of the people, are going to need it. But if there is some secret alternative investment strategy that I haven't heard about that will magically produce the scenarios of 1 or 2 (above) -- I'd sure like to know about it.

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My 3 step plan

I plan to sign over my social security checks to my children. I cannot abide the thought that their futures are being mortgaged for mine. To this end, I have a 3-fold plan.
1. Be as self-sufficient as possible. No mortgage, do garden, etc.
2. Save as much as I can hold I'm able to work.
3. Love my kids so well that they WANT to take care of me and their mom.

I think the biggest problem with this whole discussion is that people forget that just a few decades ago it was normal to have multigenerational living. My family are relatively recent immigrants, and this is exactly what my great grandparents did with their kids. The breakdown of family unity was the first step toward government domination.

Anyone else thought about signing their checks over?

Buy Silver

$20 an ounce
$25 to produce
(99) paper ounces at $20 for every physical =
$2000 payed for every physical ounce.

No brainer.

you mean buy "paper silver" and then get physical delivery?

(if that is not a correct understanding, please break it down a bit more )

That's all part of the plan.

That's all part of the plan.

If we truly had a free market economy, the cost of living would be dropping tremendously with the advent of ever greater technology and efficiency (meaning real inflation is actually much much higher than even numbers from places like Shadowstats.com).

Further, interest rates would be much much higher. You would actually get paid for saving money whereas today you are penalized as a saver.

So instead we have a nation of people nearly completely dependent on the gov, especially at retirement age. But that Ponzi scheme is going to come to an end. With 10,000 baby boomers a day going from being those who pay the most into the SS system into being those who will collect the highest amounts, $100T in unfunded liabilities are what we are left with. That's simply an impossible number.

So for someone like me in their 40s, I'm being robbed of nearly 17% of my income (don't forget the half your employer pays in or you pay in if you're self-employed) that I could be investing for my future. I am resigned to the FACT I will not see a penny of this money.

Long story short, the SS scheme is going to cause the greatest misery this country has ever seen when it finally fails.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

I'd kill to get that 8% of my

I'd kill to get that 8% of my pay check back and probably invest in something other than a ponzi scheme

Southern Agrarian

It's actually 16%. Don't

It's actually 16%. Don't forget the other half your employer pays in for you or that you pay in if you're self-employed.

"In reality, the Constitution itself is incapable of achieving what we would like in limiting government power, no matter how well written."

~ Ron Paul, End the Fed

Our master plan for retirement.

We have lived well below our means and will continue to do so. The land we bought came with three run down houses on it. We have replaced one so far and have two to go. We bought the neighbors place which increases our acreage by 20, and gives us a nice 3 bedroom brick home with fireplace and a nice den. So now we have two nice rental properties, all on our land, and within walking distance or a golf cart ride. These two rentals cover our mortgages and allow us to pay down our total note very quickly. In the next couple of years we will build homes where the other two dilapidated homes are, and we will be up to 4 very good income producing properties that are on the outside edges of our property. We hope to not only be able to control what kind of neighbors we have, but it will give us four homes that we can sell with a few acres apiece when I'm tired of playing landlord some day. If I don't like my neighbors at that point, then I can sell our home and the bulk of the land for a very nice penny. So, if all else fails I have income producing properties that I can work on, without ever leaving my fenced area. As of May 2015 the only "bills" we will have will be for insurance, internet, backup rural water, and backup electricity. At that point we will begin heavily investing in something. Don't know what yet, but I have acquired a nice old building downtown and still dream of opening up the "Liberty Cafe".

If you are depending on SS to retire, then you need to change plans and quick. The best retirement plan is to live below your means and take absolutely zero debt with you. Pay your taxes, utilities, and insurance if need be, but the idea that one needs 40k per year to "retire" is absurd. We can make it just fine around here for less than $1000 a month once the land is paid for. Now figure 12k a year into your program and things become a little easier to see. If you chose to live beyond your means, and live a life full of debt and shiny things, then your retirement won't be much fun.

Think of "The Ant and the Grasshopper"

OP, you are comparing apples to oranges

The minimum SS payment these days is less than $800 per month, or about $10,000 per year -- not $40,000.

And SS does not allow one to "live off interest," as your example implies by having over a million dollars to throw off that income. When you are gone, your husband/wife might collect some money for awhile, but then the income stops. It is not a legacy that can be passed on to the next generation, like a million dollar portfolio could.

Finally, retirement kicks in around age 65 and lasts on average about 20 years of so? Something like that.

So, $10,000 per year for 20 years is only $200,000. Life insurance is to provide for husband/wife/kids; it's really not something for SS to do.

For people who receive a lot more than the minimum SS, it is because they also earned a lot more than minimal amounts. Therefore, they have the ability to save and invest. Private retirement funds are nearly $20 TRILLION today in the USA. So, don't claim that people CANNOT save. They do.

It's the people without much of anything that need help. Eliminate income tax and those problems would get solved within one generation. People would have the ability to easily save for their future and there would be plenty of private charity for supplemental income, health care, etc. for the poor elderly.

Get government OUT of the picture and you can SOLVE the problem. Any other solution just creates more chaos over time, as it has for the past several decades.

Income producing realestate

You do have to start early, buy the right properties and get them paid for before you retire. After retirement you can either manage it yourself, hire a management company or sell on a land contract. Be as self sufficient as possible, payoff debts and lower your expenses.

Answer: 10% richer

The average current retiree will get 10% LESS out of social security than what he paid in. So how do you live without it? The answer is you live better.

Tu ne cede malis sed contra audentior ito

If they did not take SS

out of our pay checks we would be able to save that prtion ourselves. But we, stupid masses taht we are, are incapable to do this...at least that's what they tell us.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

Our monetary system and

Our monetary system and taxation system is the heart of ALL our problems including social security.Inflation destroys our savings with increasing prices and to add to that now we get zero interest to combat inflation.In a truly free market the cost of living would be cheap and prices would constantly decline unless there was a shortage of something and you could live off a modest savings alone.Also you would be much better off if you didn't have to pay any taxes your whole life like real estate taxes(which is a killer when you're retired),income taxes,and taxes on interest made from savings.Also once you paid off your house you would be able to save
faster and you would need very little to live off but that is why they never let you pay off your house.
The system creates all these problems and then they go and tell us these problems have to be handled by the state.There is no doubt they created this mess.

How Well Has Chile's Retirement Program Aged?

Viewed as one of the world's most innovative pension systems when it was created a quarter century ago, the Chilean retirement program is receiving new scrutiny as participants begin to reach retirement age, and President Bush promotes elements of the plan as a way to reform Social Security in the United States.

An upcoming Presidential election in Chile has prompted additional debate about whether the Chilean system provides enough coverage to prevent old-age poverty, according to Olivia Mitchell, director of Wharton's Pension Research Council, who recently led a panel entitled, "Exporting the Pension Revolution: Chile and Beyond," at the Wharton Global Alumni Forum in Santiago.

"Many comments are beginning to bubble up about how well the Chilean system is working and for whom it is working well," says Mitchell. "Some of these perspectives are being repeated in the U.S. press because Social Security reform is such a hot potato."

read more http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1263

Are you freaking kidding me?

Are you freaking kidding me? 1,400,000!!!?? If you had that much saved up you wouldn't even have to touch the principle! You could live off the interest alone and give the full amount to the grandkids. Some people today have such a downer helpless outlook on life its no wonder they look to the government for every need. Keep your dick securely in your pants until age 30, dont get divorced you'll have nothing to worry about.

intrest from the bank


I use Blue Wave, but don't expect one of THEIR silly taglines.

What do you think about the estate tax?

If someone can pass wealth on to future generations, can debt be passed on to future generations as well?

"To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world."

one thing is for certain

you better plan on not having socialist security and medicare because they will be bankrupt by the time you need them.

So plan now. Plan when you will retire, if ever. Plan how much you expect to need. Find other types of income outside of a job. Dividends, interest, rent, etc. Quit wasting money on useless fad items if you can't afford them in your plan. Find a new or second job to make up any shortfalls in the plan.

Dave Ramsey has a really good progam to put things in the right priorities. And debt aint one of them.

You have many things you can do that used to be the natural state for people.

It's your life, time to start being responsible for it!

I (and other RP Patriots) buy large apartment buildings

Contact me if you are interested too.

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

No offense

But, I meet people saving 20% of their income and don't have to worry about this in any way. Most people living paycheck to paycheck are doing so b/c they've known SS is their retirement.

Tell me - if you could go back in time to when you first started work, and saved 10% (So $4,000 on $40,000). Most can actually do that, no problem, starting out. It's not fun for one year, but they can. Year 2 they may have a raise, and now they don't even notice.

Now, they increase that by 1% for 10 years.

20%. Sitting pretty for retirement. WIth investing and diversifying you don't just own promises, but you'll keep up with inflation.

Bad idea

Investing should be done with unneeded income. It could be playing the lottery, every week, would be just as useful. The risk of losing everything you have, through investments, makes it not worth the risk. If the government had not stolen the money out of the trust funds, people could, very likely, have a very good retirement allowance. Thing is, the politicians, except for Ron and Rand, are the worst at handling money! That is mostly because, it is other peoples' money!

and you can take offense at this one...

Your numbers are BS. You serious assume no growth? My number that needs to be put away per yera is actually closer to $7,000. Double it if you want, but it's not $40,000.

Historically 4.5% is a normal withdrawal rate, not 2.8%. I guess you are taking into account taxes, but then again you don't have to grow your portfolio as much if you didn't have taxes.

So, sorry to say, but you're way off on your numbers, in addition to being way off on your thinking...

Your not supposed to reitre, don't you get it?

Tyrants want to keep you on their farm and keep you working.

Their mentality is explained quite nicely in this video on secession.


Protect your assets and profit from the greatest wealth transfer in history.

Seriously? This is a question?

Before the Federal Reserve people got along just fine without SS. Prices of items were almost identical their whole lives. There was no endless cycles of money expansion created out of thin air, and then paid thru the hidden tax of inflation. The bankers love all the entitlements George W and the democrats gave us. Kill the Fed, and your life savings will be more than enough to live on. a better question that no one seems to answer is where is the 75 trillion going to come from to keep SS?

before SS

People got along fine without SS. It wasn't being demanded. It was in fact a huge tax in the midst of a depression. Pensioners were doing fine.

Before SS

children took care of their aging parents. The "Walton's" were not a fairytale. Nowadays, young adults in the prime of their lives don't want to be bothered and they expect Ma and Pa to take care of themselves (or the government do it for them) AND still leave a nest of inheritance for them as well.
The elderly use to be respected and appreciated - and the human exchange of who cared for who reversed from birth to death.
Times have changed - now they are apparently a burden to their families and society.

"The measure of a civilization is how it treats it's weakest members."
Don't know the accurate source of that quote - anyone?

nowadays the elderly linger on the edge

of death for many years thanks to medical science. they could not possibly be cared for by family. So any savings they may have plus social security and medicare go into fueling the medical industrial complex. But its no kind of valuable life.

Think about all the money

Think about all the money that would otherwise be in the economy or safely stored as investment and savings if SS didn't exist.
The question isn't, "How do you live without SS?", but, "What kind of world would we live in if SS wasn't enacted?". I know for fact if I contributed 8% of my paycheck over my lifetime to a savings account that had 0% interest on it I would still come out higher than it going to SS and then getting that back in old age.

Southern Agrarian

How would government survive without looting the public?

Has government done anyone any good, ever?

Those tax parasites are more likely to abuse people's rights than anyone else.

Free includes debt-free!

Cyril's picture

Have no fear, "the Conscience of a Liberal" all figured it out

Oh, don't you worry !

Have no fear, "the Conscience of a Liberal" had it all figured out for you, OP.

Just ain't gonna happen with them around in charge - you can safely expect MORE of it, Social Security - MORE WELFARE - MORE Redistribution to come - and er... yes, MORE taxes, I suppose, because "the expert" doesn't see anything dramatic to the current situation:


"[...]The point, I think, is that right-wing intellectuals and politicians live in a bubble in which denunciations of those bums on disability and those greedy children getting free health care are greeted with shouts of approval — but now have to deal with a country where the same remarks come across as greedy and heartless (because they are).[...]"

Oh ! So, that was it, Prof. Krugman : to change mentalities... Now I get it ! But never mind about ACTUAL wealth creation or sound money.

So, everything STILL looks good towards a bright future for everybody!


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius