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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Correct. The debasing of the currency is the core cause.

Just about everything else dominoes as a result/symptom.

How about this question instead?

How do people live without stealing from others? Or, more importantly, when will people realize that they can live without stealing from others?

Liberty best serves a virtuous society

Very important, thanks for the reminder, in straightforward terms.

But everybody does it just doesn't cut it.

Free includes debt-free!

I just emailed this to my dad

Hi dad,

Here’s the real story.

The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 created the Federal Reserve System. To become a member bank you have to make a deposit in the reserve. You get a guaranteed 6% profit on you deposit.

The Federal Reserve System is a US government sanctioned Cartel of international bank with monopoly control of monetary policy. (Trust building not busting). For nearly 100 years that means they have been creating money from nothing. In 1913 the dollar would buy 12 Dozen eggs.

By 1933 they had created so many dollars that each one would only buy 8 dozen eggs.

Say you didn’t lose your shirt in the stock market crash in 1928 but hoarded gold. In 1933, Roosevelt confiscated the people’s gold to pay the government’s debts. If you saved the money in the bank and bank failed, bye-bye money. Even if your bank didn’t fail, the interest paid on deposits barely kept ahead of the purchasing power lost because of the Federal Reserve’s inflationary monetary policy.

To allow banks to make risky bets with depositor’s money, FDIC was created. If the bet paid off it was profitable for the bank. If they lost their bet, the government paid depositor’s losses. The bank’s original investors can’t lose! They just reorganize.

In 1935 the Social Security Ponzi scheme was created. There was never a fund gathering interest, for the same reason above. The inflationary money policy of the Federal Reserve steals the extra purchasing power of the increase by interest.

Instead the Social Security System depends on future earnings being higher. So, new workers pay for old. Well this is great. Except like, in 1958, 1974 and today where the economy crashes and new wage earners are not making enough to pay those on benefits. Same thing happened to Bernie Madoff when things started crashing.

In Y2K [2000] a dollar bought a dozen and a half eggs. Today you can get a half a dozen eggs. If we price the DJI in Y2K dollars the DJI is about 4400.

Gold and silver are only going up in price because the value of the dollar is dropping. The dollar of 1913 bought 12 dozen eggs. Today’s dollar buys 6 eggs.

That is why Dr. Paul says, End the Fed. End the Federal Reserve and legalize gold and silver Coin as money. Each of those Morgan/Peace Dollars you have, are worth $22 today. They have nearly the same purchasing power today as they did in 1913 because of their silver content.

If Congress raises the debt limit it will be stealing money right out of your IRA and savings accounts by means of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy. The whole thing is going to crash when the paper dollar crashes (loses all value). The bailouts or raising the debt ceiling won’t change that. It just kicks the can down the road.

Charles Lindbergh Sr. was against the Federal Reserve Bill being passed. He was right!

Our problem like the guy in the letter below is that we did not understand, like Rep Charles Lindbergh Sr, Rep or Rep Ron Paul that the real culprit was the banking Cartel started by Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, with the help of Congress. No legislative bandaids will cure the original wound to our country and today we are bleeding to death.

And that’s the rest of the story, Good day!

Free includes debt-free!

Simply put, we will all have to become more self-sufficient.

All of us DP'ers will have to band together and help each other. What do ya say?

I started my own business 14 years ago. I rolled the dice with my life savings at the time. Fortunately, it paid off. It's a service business and very easily managed from home. So, if I have to work in my old age I can, as long as I can sit at my computer.

Down sizing and eliminating debt is a great way to simplify life, not to mention reducing stress. I also moved out into the country where life is a bit slower and less complicated. Lots of fresh mountain air!

Rent is also much cheaper than in the city. BTW, anyone who buys a car in this day and age is crazy in my book. You can lease a car these days for next to nothing. And let me tell you, the dealerships were more than willing to wheel and deal. I spend less than $200.00 a month to lease a brand new 2011 automobile.

The ONLY investments I make are in precious metals. I started over two years ago with whatever funds I could spare. Best investment I ever made. Gold was selling for $740.00 an ounce at the time. Silver for around $11.00 or $12.00. The day will come when I sell it but, not before I have at least doubled if not tripled my money.

*Incidentally, if anyone is interested, we're in need of people who want to work from home. It is something you can do part-time or full-time. You will need a computer and some basic skills. See the link below if interested.

One simple question people don't think of.

Did people ask this question before SS existed? No! There is your answer. So quit whining. Less government means more control we have over our own lives. I prefer to own my life and not to expect the government to owe me. Leave me the hell alone and I will make my own choices and live my life the way I want to.


Yeah, your scenario is off.

Yeah, your scenario is off. Give me 1.5 million today and I'll never need to work a day in my life. This includes me not investing a single dime besides metals. I am only 25.

Certainly you can't bet on the dollar. What's your plan


Free includes debt-free!

What would I do? Buy a house,

What would I do? Buy a house, couple vehicles, metals, year supply of all necessities and farm.

Pioneer spirit is great. Good choice.

Thanks for the reply! beardeus.

Free includes debt-free!

I like Michael's answer

but I'd like to expand on it from my perspective. You state that someone would need to save 1.4 million to retire and cover a 40k income till age 100. What you missed is that in the 40 years of working, you likely made 1.6 million already. When I added up all the goods, services and absolutely necessary purchases made by the average person, I only came up with $500k. The difference is the protection and feel-good expenses we waste money on. How much does the average family spend in their lifetime on interest? I came up with $400k. Insurance? $520k. Taxes could be included, but I'm only concentrating on the categories "we" can fix without buying a lobbyist. I'd guess them to be another $300k or so. Then we have Mr. Bernase(SP) expenses as someone eluded to below. Consumerism, ads over-promoting useless crap, planned obsolescence, monopolies and impatience at all levels has raised that $800k to live (purchases plus taxes) to beyond the $1.6M of a single earner and likely even beyond the $2.5M of a dual income.

So, where to go now? As has already been said, get off the teet of any monopolies wielding control over you. That usually means electric, food and often times money. I take this to mean going local to be more self sufficient, but the more attractive label is to save tons of money. If you could borrow for a home from your parent at flat interest, you could likely save enough to self insure. If you did both, you could save enough to make many other changes too.

Too late for that? And you say you're looking for a place to invest in? Well, offer that same investment in a home or college or car to someone else you know. So you don't get 20% return, you're only looking to beat the inflation numbers AS THEY APPLY TO YOU. You don't care about the inflation in the OJ market unless you buy lots of it. If you watch the national numbers, you get a skewed idea of what inflation you're personally up against. Put a local start-up company in business or help a young person get started. It may not be fully liquid investments, but it offers better returns and usually lower risks. Look at some of the crowd-funding or micro-lending sites. The speed they're popping up gives me so much hope for people in their fight against the man. They're all basically a non-banking-sanctioned financial sector that cuts all profits away from the banks. How can you argue with that?

Why buy a house?

just rent. Houses are just money pits that tie you down.

You don't need 1.5 million to retire. That is just nuts. What are you planning to do live like Obama?

Renting makes your cash-flow much worse

Rents for houses are around 2000-3000 per month in Massachusetts.

If you own, at least you've cut things down to just the Property Taxes (which are not cheap), and condo fees (if applicable).

This is Why

Your friend rents, and the rent goes up with inflation. After 15 years he has a drawer full of receipts.

You buy a house and make payments over 15 years. Your payments stay the same over those 15 years, as inflation soars. If you are frugal you can save the difference between your payment and the higher rent you would have paid toward the end of that period.

Then your payments stop. Your renter friend is still paying his now higher rent, and will until he dies. You can save the entire amount he is paying, less taxes, and by the time you are 65 you will have a pile of money. Your friend will have a pile of receipts.

Of course you have to be savvy enough not to be taken by unscrupulous plumbers, electricians, house painters, etc.

As a homeowner you will work, but that work is not taxable, and the end is worth the effort.

Of course if you have a high enough income not to be bothered by doing upkeep yourself, then you are rich enough not to need my advice and will have all the money you need when you are old. ... Right?

Most rich people I know live beneath their means.

Don't be seduced by the likes of Bill Gates and Hollywood types.

to all the stiff, upper lip, 'let the old folks suffer'--


I remember the urbanization of America; I was here (there)--

spouse and I come from the land; of our four sets of grandparents (none divorced, by the way) . . .

three of them were land owners--

two lost their land in the depression; one went to work for the government; the other became a gardener for a wealthy landowner--

the ones who kept their land did it with help from the community and paid it all back; their children convinced them to sell the land, so "we can take care of you with the proceeds"--


I watched that whole scenario unfold; those were my grandparents--

the one set of grandparents that didn't own land were wealthy professionals (both of them, unusual for people in the early 1900s, but so it was)

lost the land--

lost the land . . .

no chimney corner for grandpa and grandma to sit and mutter in, folks--

two generations were sold the "go on cruises and enjoy your golden years" bunk, while the generations preceding them had muttered in the chimney corner, peeling potatoes for the family meals when the arthritis allowed them--

they didn't spend weeks and months in the hospital; they just died when they died--

an entire CULTURE changed in about 50 years, and now what we have is tens of thousands of old people who have nobody but the government to fall back on--


let them eat cake.

Spouse and I have been caught in between; we did not ever enjoy the great prosperity of our parents (the richest generation)--

we watched them squander it, in our cases--

one lost it all, even insured, spending for a final illness; the others were just foolish--

we never had the safety net; we lost money to a bad real estate market years before it hit everywhere else--

and we lost employment at a vital time in our lives--

when employment wasn't easy to find. We scrambled; we did menial work (we are both college degreed and beyond)--

we worked out fingers to the bone--

and we are fairly independent now, but we can't even talk to our peers; we can't relate to their trips and their new cars and their everything--

so . . . --

this old couple might feed you, if you aren't prepared yourselves--

even you young ones who are so cavalier about the old ones in these posts--

I don't want to take SS, but if spouse or I just falls down someday and has to lay in the corner . . .--

until death comes--

it could be pretty hard--

we won't do medicaid/care; we have already determined that if one of us falls ill, we will just stay home--

I'm sure the health police would LOVE that--

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

Hi 1988, You're a freeman

If you take social security you are a ward of the state, a state trustee, though dues (FICA) were unfair.

Your pioneer spirit inspires me, though I understand it just keeps you alive.

You are another in a long line of patriots, as Ralph Waldo Emerson described in Self-Reliance. Or Earl Hamner's recollections of that family on Walton's Mountain. You can't make that stuff up, you have to live it.

I am a do-it-yourselfer, like my father, my grandfathers and my great grandfathers before me. And like my three sons and daughter, just starting out.

But it not just circumstance but attitude that makes life worth living. I like your attitude. Thanks for sharing.

Free includes debt-free!

No one wants anyone to starve,

the point is that there will be NO social security. NOW is the time to be making plans for the worst not after the checks stop coming in the mail.

I have a friend and she said she couldn't survive without ss. I have tried over and over to get her to make preparations. There ARE things she could do but is being stubborn and when the SHTF I will be here for her but I will be disappointed because she could have at least worked something out ahead of time.

Prepare & Share the Message of Freedom through Positive-Peaceful-Activism.

yes you are right

because Americans are not free and the are not brave.

They are Dull!


America is different from the rest of the world, or it used to be.

The American concept was that it is not the purpose of government, especially the Federal Government, to take care of citizens.

The proper purpose of government is to maintain an environment where the people can live free of external and internal predators. Such a government would also, of necessity, refrain from predation, either internationally or internally.

It was a given that we would rely on our own prudence, and the social networks of church and family for our personal needs.

I would willingly give up all the federal "security net" provisions if it would guarantee that my grandchildren could live out their lives in the America I just described.

I would, also, but at this point my grandchildren are . . .

living almost below the poverty level with hard-working parents--

things aren't good--

I just want my grandchildren to survive to adulthood at this point--

yes, parents are married (to each other); this is one of the most intact families *I* know (my married children and their children)--

these are not young people who drink and 'party'; these are young people who have taken out loans to go to college and now can't repay them, because the job market is bad--

these are young people who have learned to cook from bulk, too--

and, yes, I am very worried about them--and their beautiful children; they know no other way of life than the one that the previous four generations have handed them--

If I happen to mention that spouse and I have paid into SS for 50 years and won't get anything . . .--

and that I think that is criminal, surely you won't mind?

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

I'm truly sorry your offspring are having such a hard time.

Maybe it has to do with where they live, I don't know, but there must be some way to overcome the difficulty. I can't tell you how, and I don't want to sound proud.

In our own case, here in Texas, we are thankful that all four of my kids were able to attend Texas universities back when costs were low, currently have good jobs and are living above the standard they knew growing up, and our 14 grandchildren are well cared for. That is by the grace of God. I certainly can't take credit for it.

Somehow I can't believe that He loves you any less, so keep up the brainstorming and ask Him for an opportunity for your kids. It may mean reconsidering some assumptions they currently hold about kind of work, where to live, etc.

Whatever you do, don't let bitterness get a hold of you.

I could tell you more about what we are facing personally, but suffice it to say that modern medicine doesn't have answers for all our problems, and some of us are going to have to be content to leave this earth as our forefathers did, not because there is no insurance or hospital, but because medicine today can offer no more for some conditions than it could a hundred years ago.

God bless

Europe - Pensions

At least they get early generous pensions and look at the wonders of the EU States. lol The cost of security alone over there these days must be close to their defense budgets. ;)

They will collapse before anyone else. People should be dumping Euros immediately imo.

Thank goodness for the UK did not get the Euro for example.



I don't know anyone who receives 4000 a month from Social Security. Maybe in the future, in depreciated dollars, that will be the case, but with the current freeze on cost of living adjustments, it seems unlikely. In fact, we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the system. We may continue to receive payments, but they will be less and less of what is needed to get by.

Social security was never intended to be a main provision for retirement, but merely a supplement. Since is truly the most grand of all the the Ponzi schemes ever devised, it must eventually die, and the death, as is true of all Ponzi schemes, will be sudden and catastrophic. The only way a total collapse will be avoided will be through supplementation with other money and can you tell me where that will come from?

Provision for retirement involves your own prudent preparation. By the time you are 50, you should own a home free and clear. You should have bought it on a 15 year mortgage, and if you can't afford the payments on a 15 year mortgage, you are buying too much house. You should have put your savings in something other than FRNs or bank accounts, which appreciate more slowly than inflation eats at them.
Land, Gold, Silver, Rentals, are possibilities.

When it comes time to retire, if the house is larger than you need sell it and move into one of your rental properties or buy a smaller house. Use your accumulated assets to support you.

Also, get married, don't get divorced, don't use alcohol or tobacco, keep good relationships with your adult children, and
with your friends at church.

If those concepts don't agree with you, then you are on your own. Maybe you can win the lottery.

good points, where possible--

you've got to be in good shape to have a mortgage paid by 50--

the other advice is good--

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

I Should Have Added

Become handy with tools, learn basic plumbing and electrical, choose where you live carefully and don't be afraid to live beneath your means. There is a reason why Texas has 4 new Congressional districts with the last census.

If you can't pay for a house in 15 years you want too much house.
If there are no houses like that where you live, you live in the wrong place.

In case you haven't noticed, New York and Southern California have been losing population fast lately. I'm surprised they aren't ghost towns like some cities in Michigan.

Eventually, things will revert to the norm, but until they do you have to make wise choices.

this is good advice to the young ones, I'm sure--

we've been taking care of all our repairs (cars/home) for decades--


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

Where do you suppose social

Where do you suppose social security gets its money from? I mean, do you suppose the social security administration is busy producing such enormous amounts of wealth that they can somehow afford to pay you much more for the same amount of forced saving put in, than you could have earned by saving / investing it yourself? And I'm not even talking about how the social security fund is being stripped to for votes and vanity.

All social security is sitting on now, is a bunch of IOUs from a bankrupt government. That this same government is planning to use as leverage to get older people to cheer them on, as they go about their mission of robbing everyone else under guise of "keeping promises to the elderly blah, blah."

And the sad thing is, I bet a lot of the elderly will fall for it, and become vocal champions of theft and extortion, dutifully regurgitating progressive lies in exchange for breadcrumbs, as those around them suffer and perish and the country goes to shits.

hey, even as we struggle . . .

and don't take SS, even as our income drops lower and lower--

that SS is taken out of our paychecks every month--

more regular than anything else in the world--

it's a crime, and we have paid into it for almost 50 years in our case--

and we don't use it--

so what are the 'elderly' going to 'fall for' here--

the idea that they might get a portion of what they paid in back?

We don't expect to see anything back from five decades of paying in--

but it hurts to look at the paycheck stub and see: SS--

or what is it called now, FICA--

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

Take the Money

As you say, you are only getting back what was extorted from you.

If you are getting by without it now, you should save it or buy investments to help you in those last years.

Besides, if you don't take it, you are only enabling those who run the system.

how many on here have torn up their SS cards and gotten rid of .

. . all traces of SS after paying into it for 5 decades?

I'd be curious to know--

not even sure if we could keep our jobs if we dropped SS--

and, frankly, at our ages, we need the paychecks--

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