2 votes

So just how does one live WITHOUT Social Security?

Originally published 2011-01-06 20:02:
- - -
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.

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

When the Lakota picked up their tee-pees..

...and moved to another camp site, any elderly people that were too sick to walk, or dying, were left behind to die. Now, while we may think that is barbaric, it was an accepted custom among the Native Americans. So, it comes down to what we are used to, and what we expect. If people know that there is no SS for them when they retire, they would start saving for their retirement, instead of blowing their money.

"I support the Declaration of Independence and I interpret the Constitution."

So the millions...

So the millions that never make any extra money to blow? They will be left behind? How many are you going to invite in to share your retirement egg with because you are a compassionate human being? The numbers do not add up unless most go to the glue factory.Fact.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

How did elderly people survive before there was S.S.?

Why can't we go back to the way it was? Elderly people weren't sent to the "glue factory".

"I support the Declaration of Independence and I interpret the Constitution."

They didn't survive,Thats the point

Up until just several decades ago they got sick and died at a relatively young age compared to today's life span. To live past the age of 60 or 65 was fairly rare for most. History repeats it's self and this would again be the situation in all this.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

My goodness! Before SS The

My goodness! Before SS The elderly often would be with their families. It has become fashionable within the last several decades to put them into "long term assisted care" or nursing homes of all scaled price points...much earlier than a palliative care situation would require. It has also been my wonderment that my ancestors lived to ripe old ages, 80's 90's 100's without being tied to the hip to medical services, lived at home independently much longer and passed away either at home or in palliative care within a private home, church hospice or hospital. I worry that current generation will not live as long or as healthily as past generations. They did not have social security nor gov't intervention about where and when they shall die.

this is much more complicated than it appears--

would the elderly Lakota have preferred to lay in a hospital bed 'til death was inevitable? I do not think so.

When I think of my old ones who have been dragged off to hospitals to have parts removed at great expense to either the government or to the insurance payers--

it's more than a government ponzi arrangement.

Those who benefit from slow, lingering death:

medical professionals
insurance companies
pharmaceutical companies

This is not a one-dimensional problem.

A co-worker's mother in law is currently in a hospital against her wishes, dying--

she has asked for no help; she has requested no further intervention; she would prefer to die in her 'bed' (she was in an assisted living center), but they will not let her; she must be in the hospital--

that's a crime.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

At the end of Orwell's Animal Farm

The horse goes to the glue factory. Any questions?

Yep,The math just does not add up

This really needs another assessment of the math.The cost to a person's self made retirement egg would be completely tapped out with the real costs of taking in and supporting their parents medical and physical needs if they "Took them in" when they got old.Then what would they have left to retire on themselves?.Social Security insurance over the years is very cheap in comparison.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

It's not supposed to add up

Once someone is done working their usefulness to the global banking empire is over. A retired person just sucks up resources which could be used for war or vainglorious monuments.


This is the true picture,The selfish personal priorities are the problem in this whole issue.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

I almost like the irony of Obama cutting SS, deporting illegals.

How ironic that it's the democrat who's refused to give a decent COLA to SS the last two years.

Last month, I was waving signs for the Republicans at a polling place and some old lady decided to vent on me. "Why should I vote for them?! They're cutting my Social Security!" "Who is, madam?" "Republicans! Republicans are cutting Social security and I can't afford groceries!" "*sigh* Madam, who's in charge now?" "That Boehner guy!" "Obama is in charge and he froze the rates." "Well, the Republicans made him do it!"

Ah yes... I almost like the irony of Obama cutting SS, deporting illegals, waging global war, propping up global corporations... I'd be really upset if I was in the sea of swooning masses adoring the New messiah back in 2008.

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

I'll tell you how.. you

I'll tell you how.. you should have been saving money from the time you started working in your 20's. You should have figured it out that SS wouldn't be there by the time you retired so you were going to be on your own and needed to take care of your self. Now I have news for you there is ONE investment that will make your retirement. That investment is Silver. but ofcourse you only bash silver so it is no surprise that you have not figured out many moons ago that SS was not going to benefit you in any way.

You are right

If one never turned on their heater or air conditioner, Never had any children,Never let their elders burden them when they got too old to work,Never bought one item of comfort or toy you might be close as a member of the layman class. But are we not back to where we started again with the old folks? Could this be viewed as greedy,selfish and uncompassionate ?

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

How is it you have people who

How is it you have people who do do this. They have had children, turned on the heater and air conditioner. Had middle class incomes and were still able to save. No it is not greedy, selfish or uncompassionate. What does Ron Paul teach? You MUST rely on YOU. I know my Dad worked 2 jobs. My Mom worked. Not only do they have their measly SS check every month but they also saved enough money to live a good retirement. THEY SACRIFICED!

How lucky...

How lucky you are that your father had not decided that it may become an irresponsible added expense to have children. Because it very well could have messed up his personal retirement egg. Very fortunate indeed.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

it may not fit into your paradigm, Sierra--

but I know people (and we have experienced it to some extent) who have lost hard-earned retirement savings . . .

to the PTB/banks.

These people sacrificed also. How . . . do *you* (not pointing at you, at anyone) justify social darwinism?

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

"Whether you think you can or think you can't,

you're probably right." Henry Ford

tasmlab's picture

Expectations, Inflation and the payments

This isn't a complete answer by any stretch, but the whole idea of living without SS also has to assume:

- People had the expectation for their entire working lives that it doesn't exist
- People didn't have to make a payment into the system for 8% of their income for their entire 45 years of working
- Our fiat money system wasn't rigged to destroy savings

It aches my Rothbard-heart to suggest this, but even if we found that there was still some small percent of the population who were unable to save and who were ditched by their family, I could certainly stomach a welfare program for the needy administered at the city (or maybe state) level. But boy do I hate that it is a national, mandatory program for everybody regardless of one's willingness to take care of themselves.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Uh Oh, There is a realist in the house

Finally someone has posted a question of reality about the realities of the bigger picture. Indeed, What would happen? Those that make six figures a year may have a slim chance at saving enough to live on but it would not be the lifestyle they are used to living,It will be tent time in comparison.

Maybe some can work to an older age sitting behind a desk with no physical demands.One problem with this are we all going to be fortunate to find a desk to sit behind? What about the layman physical labor slave work sector that is the larger part of our society? The ones that live paycheck to pay check all their lives? In reality they do not pay out that much in SS at all and the amount saved from not having to would not make a difference for them towards their retirement.

Are they to just crawl off and die like animals in the wild to no longer be a burden on our society or are they to move in with their offspring like they do in third world countries? Would this not end up looking a lot like a caste society where those that are rich can afford to survive after they can no longer work and those that are not rich are to perish due to their lack of funds and fortune?

Here's the reality,There will never be enough churches and non greedy compassionate people in this world to support the demand.Even now the elderly die every year simply because they do not make enough through SS to pay their increased utility bills during the winter.Fact! But I guess this is just their own fault for getting old and no longer able to be a productive slave so the rich that can afford to retire on their own.So now it is time to just crawl away and die as to not be a burden on the folks that want their toys?

It's pretty simple,If they left Social Security the hell alone it would be a very successful and solvent program. If they kept their hands out of it and quit stealing from it this would be a total non issue.Fact.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Very well said

Very well said

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

thank you for saying so succinctly . . .

what I couldn't manage to say.

Some of *us* know that many of *us* will 'crawl off and die', no matter how much we worked not to, and it needs to be said.

I don't believe SS should ever have been created, but . . .

there are old people dying.

Thank you for saying it.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

The problem with America's socialists

is, they rely too heavily on IF. What do you mean, IF the politicians keep their hands out of it and quit stealing from it? What country are you talking about? Congress is full of crooks because the election and lobbying laws produce crooks. And what is going to make them revise laws that reward them so lucratively for being corporate slaves? Apparently, nothing. So let's stop pretending they are going to magically transform into the kind of people who will not steal.

It was

a lie of implication, that people were ever supposed to live on SS.

And so, the fallacy of gov't "cradle to grave" is fully exposed. They can't do it. In fact, they can't even do part of it.

I should think that the failure of all the communist countries in the world would clue people in to this.

People need to re-establish their own lives under their own control, and re-establish the family ties which have served to solve this equation for 6 thousand years.

The gov't does not replace the family, nor does it replace anything else. The gov't is a festering sore on humanity.

I understand the concept you display

I really do,But in reality how can family help if they themselves are living paycheck to paycheck? Are we to find pride in the lifestyle as a country where four generations have to live in one house to afford to eat? Will then those that tried to save, but could not,be forced to live in third world conditions? Where is the pride in this as a country and society? I would be ashamed of this type of caste society,It would become a remake of a time past when the educated few profited while the uneducated majority perished without concern or compassion.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.


do you consider stealing other people's money from them, in order to service this "compassion" you seem to have?

This is where it all falls down, my friend.
You can't "do good" by doing bad.
Theft from another to "give" to somebody is not "compassion".
It's crime.

To attempt to do what you seem to want is impossible, and actually counterproductive. By taking from others, you actually put more people on the poverty line, who would have been able to make it previously. Then, the line gets bigger, so you need to take more from a smaller group to pay the ones who can't make it. Then, that pushes more on to the poverty line, and so on, and so on.

The problem is psychological, not financial.
People are responsible for their own lives. If they aren't going to get taken care of by some outside force, they'll make damn good and sure that they have done something to secure their own survival. The ones who slip thru the cracks can and do go to charity. Charity exists, and people can do get it. There is NO societal "right" to be taken care of by anybody else. If you can't make it, you are at the mercy of others who will help you, and you don't make any demands. You grovel for it, which is the way it should be. This provides incentive to never fall into that position, and it breeds responsible lifestyles.

The fallacy behind your "compassion" is that you think there is a gov't solution, and there is NOT.
The solution is for people to take care of themselves, and if they can't, then they serve as an example to others as a bad example.

You are really espousing Marxism here, and it's dangerous.
Apply the same thought across the board, even with an "egalitarian" intent, and you have communism.

From another perspective

I like socialism no more than you do but in this one case, When viewed from another perspective may be something that actually benefits the over all investment for the economy of our country and humane society.

Let's say that a successful family takes in an elder,Now when this elder starts to have serious medical problems as we all do,Would this not bring down everyone in the family?All four generations reduced to poverty? How could this benefit our economy as a whole?

I did the math and this would not sustain it's self,It would affect everyone anyways.No escaping it except for society adopting the glue factory as a solution.You can try to hide but it will find you no matter where you are and it WILL affect us ALL one way or the other.

How are you going to deal with it when laws are passed that force you to take in and care for an elder whether you want to or not? This will be a much more expensive solution to the current idea of theft would it not? You can bet that thse laws will be passed to protect the image and economy of our nation as a whole.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

It sustained itself for the entire history of mankind.

What you propose is tyranny, and there can be no other name for it.

You are free to live and you are free to die.
Nobody owes you anything, whether you think you were dealt a bad hand or not.
Putting your hand into somebody else's bank account because you'd like to live better is criminal. Pure and simple.
Playing the vctim doesn't change any facts.

You can't rationalize it away.
Some people are going to suffer because they sucked at life.
That is no reason to criminally oppress the rest of society by tyranny.
What you propose is morally reprehensible, but you seem to think it is "compassion".

Please enlighten me...

Please enlighten me to a successful example ever practiced of your theory about how this should work. As I know it there is none at all that did not end in uncivilized results.This is an experimental theory that completely takes human nature out of the equation. You have more faith in human nature than history has ever proved to date.I have very much tried to see positive results in this theory but can find absolutely none due to the reality of human nature.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

Social Security has existed for about 70 years.

Prior to that there has never been Social Security in the history of the world. It has worked perfectly since man has existed.

So, I present all of human history as the example.
Any questions?

End of story.

I fail to see how you can think that it hasn't been tried.
It's been 6000 years and counting.
It has never failed.
It goes like this, "You live until you die. No promises."

I am absolutely appalled that you actually consider oppression and theft and tyranny to be not only acceptable, but preferred.
I think you need to take your temperature You must be sick or something.

tasmlab's picture

Tyranny light

If Social Security and other assistance type programs were the entire scope of the US government, and our taxes reflected that to be only a minor nuisance of a payment, I could imagine that SS would just be something libertarians grumbled about at cocktail parties

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football