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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Simple question...

What did people do without social security?

Also, since the amount provided by social security is often inadequate for the "retirement" you have suggested as necessary, what do people do now?

How about this one:

Are you willing to submit to the idea that the federal government owns you and your labor?

If not, then you'll figure something out.

Look, if social security is so important to you, get together with some other people who think like you and work something out. Just leave me out of it.

For me the short answer is "family." I notice you have left that "institution" completely out of your discussion. It is also the basic answer to my first question.

Great answer! You're totally

Great answer! You're totally spot on about family. You might even say that family is the original "social security" plan. When government checks replaced dependance upon family is when families started falling apart and with them, the rest of society.

Root cause: the American way of life is not sustainable.

Bad diet causes degenerative diseases, bad medical decisions cause medical problems to snowball into old age, racking up expenses.

The consumer culture causes people to acquire things to gain stature. This is not the case in other highly civilized countries.

For now, I'm game for that "transitioning out of Social Security" that Ron Paul talks about. It's a much better investment than empire-building. But in the long run, we must change our way of life.

bad diet??

Our diet isnt much worse than some countries.
Our DIET issue is the GMO foods we all unknowingly consume.

Jackson County Georgia

War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.
Thomas Jefferson

Our diet isn't much worse, and neither are our disease

statistics- the majority of people in the First World are eating cr*p and suffering for it. If you think it's only the GMO issue, I can recommend some good books to disabuse you of the myth.

Years ago

When there was such a thing as a strong family unit the elderly were taken care of by their children. Parents would work and grandpa and grandma would take care of the kids.

Many Italian families I know still do this. Their parents are treated like gold. They either live with them or they build inlaw apartments. Many Of the homes they own were their parents homes that passed to the kids and now the children and the grandchildren take care of them.

that was once upon a time when people honored their parents. Now many feel they are a burden.

What a sad state we are in.

Most people in most of the

Most people in most of the world still do that. It's just not that way in nations that have the social safety net like Western Europe and the US.

2 cents

Social Security is a vehicle of speculatio­n imposed against all individuals as presumed loss (ex. all will become disabled with age etc)

When mandated indemnitie­s like SocSec or Medicare are then funded through unethical anti-volun­tary taxation, government interferen­ce arguably creates market distortion­s which enable corruption and abuse

If an individual is otherwise concerned about adverse conditions (ex. disease or floods), they should purchase insurance for themselves and let others determine their own risk

Before Social Security

The USA had, and still has to a much lessor extent because of SS, what are called fraternal organizations, for example, The Patrons of Husbandry AKA The Grange, for one. Way back when, there were dozens of fraternal organizations competing for you to join, and some were very proud, such as The Odd Fellows "We take care of widows and orphans". The Grange took care of farmers, and to a point, still does (though they sold our insurnce/ Grange Insurance pays the Patrons a little money annually for the use of the name, as we have trailer courts and apartment buildings for seniors.

It used to be, in the days when people apprenticed for jobs, one could join an organization, and folks would pool their money and buy property and investments to secure the retirements of the members. Many people belonged to more than one fraternal organization.

If you live off the grid, or darn near off the grid like me, you join a church and fraternal organizations, and you make what contributions you can. I've helped mend fences, scrubbed flores, done laundry, cook, all kinds of chores for my Grange, and my fellow Grangers are willing an able to help me, make repairs and be self sufficient on my property.

It's not that the government knew it could do a better job than fraternal organizations, it's that fraternal organizations were strong, and that's a threat to the government in that, we don't need them, they need us, and they don't like that. The government wants us to be dependent and they work very hard to make us dependent on them, so they can grow, and control us.

Today, to name a few fraternal orders, the Lions, Eagles, Moose, Elk, Masons, Grange, Rotery, Odd Fellows, military based VFW, American Leigion, also I'm a chef by trade, I belong to the American Culinary Federation, which has a benefit.. these are how people survived, and in many cases, very well, without social security.

A persons needs are pretty simple, shelter, food, waste, energy for heat/air/ cooking, and as one ages, some medical help. Dr Ron Paul explains how hospitals paid him $3.00 to intern, and he himself says he helped people for free rather than accept government money/ red tape. That's the way it was before government got involved and tried to be THE fraternal organization for everyone.

I'm only sorry I did not see this post back in January, because now you know how people survived without SS.

Just a Few Facts

First of all Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme. It is not only a Ponzi but it is a mandatory Ponzi. When the Gov't first began payouts back in 1940 there were 160 workers to each retiree. Again, it is a ponzi so there is no fund. Today, there are two workers for each retiree! As of last year the program began paying out more than it takes in[basically the Ponzi(like all Ponzis) had failed]. In the 80's Greenspan and Reagan realized that the Ponzi would eventually implode, so they increased taxes on self employed persons. During the Bush Administration we had a $2.5 trillion surplus in the program. This was unacceptable for the critters. They borrowed the money out of the fund and it is now gone. There is no fund. Also, any excesses were directly used to purchase US debt instruments(the critters spent the money on war, basically). So, now we have to borrow money from somewhere else to pay the recipients.

Anyway, if you would've taken the money that you were forced to pay into this system and put it into an investment, not like 401Ks where you chose from Wall St. scam 1 or Wall St. scam 2, but knowing this was your retirement you would have studied investing much more than you did. I would have. I do now after realizing that by doing simple math calculations I know that the system is insolvent and I will either receive nothing or completely debased currency when I reach the increased age at which they will soon deem reasonable for retirement. So, knowing this I live like a Mexican(frugally) and save the rest.

Not only is SS a Ponzi, so are Medicare, Medicaid, and our very debt-based monetary system that we depend on each and everyday. Our Government has declared war on its very citizens it proclaims to protect.

Unfortunately, the future will not even remotely resemble the past 40 years. When we lose our Reserve Currency status we will be on a basic level playing field with the rest of the world. I know it feels bad. Save as much as you can before we lose the status. My investment strategy is similar to most on this Site.

This entire SS problem is yet another mistake made by our supposed representatives. The existing problem I just discussed is being hidden from the poor people depending on this system. Now is the time to begin to take responsibility for your own retirement. The US Banana Republic certainly has no intention of even warning you of the dangers.

I`m 70 years old and fought in that stupid Vietnam war 66-67

You can take that SS check and shoveit , but first return my freedom and liberty. Untill that happens I`ll use the money to purchase the only metal that will secure my liberty
- lead filled brass.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people that pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell

Why is it MY job to take care of you?

Isn't it YOUR job to take care of yourself?

Are you missing a leg? Blind? Born with no fingers? If you are, I'll happily contribute to your upkeep. We must take care of those who can't take care of themselves.

But, did you spend the last 40 years taking nice "vacations", buying new cars, getting your kids designer jeans so that you could be "the cool mom" and putting-off making plans because it wasn't any fun? Did you prepare? Did you plan to take care of yourself, or did you suppose that "the rest of us" would just do it for you? Sorry you didn't make more "friends" to use.

My Mom and Dad worked and saved like dogs their entire lives. My Mom at 87 gets $242 per month from social security. It's an incremental component of her plan.

Can't be stupid and free.

What's that saying?

"If you're gonna be dumb, you better be tough."

I think there's a song about that too. :)

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

Boy ...

Life sure is tough, for a boy named SUE. LOL

Social Security is your own

Social Security is your own money that the federal government has been saving for you via SS withholdings, right? So why not simply keep it and save it yourself? Are we really such children that we need a babysitter to handle our retirement savings?

Most are.. that's why they get all bent out of shape

when they know big "brother" might not be there to tell them what to do with their money and their lives.

You gave an easy fix as did Dr.Paul..so simple in fact I think it blows people's minds. Take care of and prepare for yourself..Wow what an idea.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

It's the same reason some

It's the same reason some people believe in God or heaven. They think they can screw over other people, confess their sins and suddenly get away with all of it scott-free.

Give me another 2 years and I won't need it.

It's going to require a complete change in lifestyle but I look forward to it.

I'll start an internet business, buy remote land, build a cabin on it, grow my food and that includes animals.

That's pretty much it. Since I won't have any rent or utility bills of any kind, the money I make on the net will go into gold or silver.

I'll probably sell some of the land as well.

The trick is live way below your means while still living a very comfortable life. By some peoples standards, you might be living with less I suppose but not by mine.

So they can take the SS and shove it. Not like it'll be worth anything anyway, besides, Dr.Paul's gonna raise the opt-out age, so one way or another...I'm off of it.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

What a contentious subject!

And amazing all of the know-it-alls out there who are not in their 70s and 80s and onward dealing with life as we know it. Because of the insane cost of living here and now this is a valid question. Living in dream land is not going to help us. We have to deal with the here and now. So, older folks do rely on their Social Security checks or they are just one meal away from dog food. Health care expenses destroy what few dollars they do have, even if they have everything paid for.
I know a couple like this. They are both in their 80s. Wonderful people who were very frugal and still are. They even have one house that is a rental while they live in another, both paid for. BUT their medical bills are astronomical and the cost of daily living is exorbitant. They need their Social Security checks and, lest you young folks don't get it, they earned them! They worked from the time Social Security was instituted until they retired at around 70. That is a long time.
People who are self employed and incorporated end up paying 15% of their income all of their working years. That could easily be 50+ years. THAT is their hard-earned money. So, nobody is mooching. The moochers are the ones who use Social Security irresponsibly for so-called disabilities when they never paid a dime into it. Social Security should be separate for retirement and the government should never have stole what they stole from us.
NOW in an ideal world, these folks would not need this Social Security. The cost of living would be reasonable and they could live quite well on their savings and their rental property. But, this is not ideal.
A lot of people are fleeing the country for less expensive places. That is why Ecuador is attractive to us. A couple can live on less than $1500 down there and live quite well.
Another thing to the younger set. It is easy to say be self reliant-chop wood, make a vegetable garden, live off the grid. BUT when you are 80 it is not so easy to do. It implies you have to live far out in the country where most people that age need to live closer to medical facilities. It implies you have a strong back and muscles which is not too likely for most. Be compassionate and look at all of the people around you and look at what is, not what we want it to be.
What will happen? The young people will definitely have to start being more responsible for those who raised them. The thing is, we are an independent lot. Old folks don't want to be dependent upon their children even if they raised them and put them through college. We need to change their thinking and make everyone realize each has something to contribute to the extended family.


The lip of truth shall be established forever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment...Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are His delight. Prov 12:19,22

All that below may be true...

"The thing is, we are an independent lot. Old folks don't want to be dependent upon their children even if they raised them and put them through college. We need to change their thinking and make everyone realize each has something to contribute to the extended family."

but A: Dr.Paul has stated he'll fix it in multiple ways
B: The young ones will get to opt-out
C: Life is hard, sometimes we have to be humble enough to accept help. I'm independent as hell but even I know I need help from time to time.

Patriot Cell #345,168
I don't respond to emails or pm's.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution, inevitable.

Simple answer

"So just how does one live WITHOUT social security?"

We'll find out soon.

"Endless money forms the sinews of war." - Cicero, www.freedomshift.blogspot.com

One cannot assume

that every person has a family or kids to take care of them when they get old.

My husband and I will have to work until we die, that is, if we are able to work, and if we can get jobs. If not, then we'll be homeless and starve to death. That's the reality for a lot of people these days.

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”
― Albert Camus

No Suzan

You have forgotten about Obama's death panels. By the way I worked in the elder care industry and it has already started.

what social security?

I agree with a lot below. Return to the family structure after getting into responsible fiscal health. It's your responsibility to take care of yourself, not everyone's.

As for those who are already older and fear losing their benefits, what can we do about it? The dollar is failing and everyone is going to lose, not just you.

To answer the question directly "So just how does one live WITHOUT social security?" I would like to say "I am in my mid-20s. I pay social security taxes. I have no intention of ever receiving benefits ever in my life. I am making a serious effort in every way to preserve my wealth and prepare for my future, without the help of the government or my fellow tax-payers." And if I could stop paying social security taxes tomorrow, I would. It'd help.

my diy adventure blog: dickdoesit.blogpsot.com

As I approach 70 years of age I say "BS" to your scenarios!

If I fall I`ll get my own ass back up. And if they stop sending me that check every month I will survive.
You need to swim neck deep in a bayou full of gators and maybe you will have more faith in yourself and the seniors you have so little faith in.
All I want from the government is all of my Liberties restored!

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people that pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell

I have very seriously not read the comments below so...

I believe the normal family structure has failed. Within the the family structure we have become divided and now we must do something different. What family members that listen - Great! But there are More that do not agree. Solution - focus on those that believe that reducing the government is the solution. It is hard to think this way but you must focus on the SOLUTION to the problem. I suspect bashing will follow this post.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win!"

"The belief is worthless if the fear of social and physical punishment overrides the belief."

The normal family hasn't failed.

The normal family was killed-off by the government intentionally, with the intent to replace it with the state. And it has done that successfully, by implementing confiscatory taxes and eroding the currency, and placing unbearable burdens on families, forcing them all into the workplace, and destroying traditional family structure.

The "solution" is to get government off of everybody's back, eliminate nearly all taxes, and cut the government down to below a skeleton crew, so it can't do as much damage.

The gov't isnt destroying America, and Americans, by accident. It has been well-planned and executed over more than a century of time, at the behest of their banker handlers who own them.

People have lived since time immemorial without socialist tyranny. The only people who need it are the parasitic tyrants who implement it. Without the taxation, people could provide for themselves and their retirements, and all their needs, just like everyone has done since the beginning of time.

What we NEED...to get back to our roots

We need to take our families back period. Whatever happened to taking care of your parents when they got older? It used to be that families lived close, or even lived together. Grandma and Grandpa lived with their kids and grandkids. No need to retire then. You did what you could in the areas you could help, and shared wisdom.

It makes no sense to me for everyone to live in a different home and a waste of money! You take care of your children for 18 years or more...they can take care of you when you need it. I am only 35 and I have these views...Lord knows where I got them being raised in this society.

In a society where families live together in a generational home their are more people to help out with the kids, to help out with the chores, to share wisdom and knowledge.

Perhaps I am too old-fashioned for "America" today.

You are kidding?

Before I read all the replies which should clearly bash the insane $40,000 per year figure, I will do it myself.

If you do not have your house and cars paid for, by that age, you are very wrong.

The only expense ANY senior should have to deal with is healthcare, because unfortunately society has inflated the price to much, even a life of saving could be wiped out if no insurance is carried. But before one gets to 65, they should be doing the easy cheap preventive measures that will make it less likely the need a ton of care.

Oh, and my wife and I need about 5k per year to live right now.....because we decided to buy a cheap tri-plex to live in while we rent the other two out. We could have bought a 100k house for ourselves to burnd 3x the utilities, but we would like to not have to survive off of Social Security.

Paul S. is right

We have the Fed to blame for the inflation tax (as Dr. Paul calls it) and the devaluing of our dollar.