Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: retirement

Daily Reading List — May 3rd

Why Don’t People Return Their Shopping Carts? – It’s actually just poor planning coupled with laziness. Don’t give me this “kid in the car” excuse either. Lazy people and poor planners circle the parking lot looking for the spot closest to the door.

Smart people (me) try to get a spot right next to a cart return. That way, even if you have to deal with kids, you can return your cart easily. You also don’t have to deal with stray carts in the parking lot around these areas ramming into your high dollar minivan.

Think people!!!

An Accidental Discovery Could Solve Earth’s Plastic Waste Problem – Next we will have to find something that can break down all those annoying re-usable bags people have been toting to the store with them for the past few years. ‘Cause those are all going to get trashed.

The Worst Places To Get Stung By A Bee: Nostril, Lip, Penis – If you happen to only have 2 of the 3 you are living a charmed life. Where’s the social justice?

How Running a Marathon Puts Your Body Through Hell – Word.

The Baby Boom Tsunami That May Drown The Economy – I’ve wondered for a while how these folks are going to pull money out of the markets while we’re all building them up. Sounds like another social security type thingy, huh?

Would America be better off if we became Norway? – We’d be happier if we were Vikings, but with central heating systems and North Face clothing.

The Origins of Overprotective Parenting – We make an effort (sometimes at the horror of The Mrs.) to keep our kids as free range as possible. And we still probably don’t do enough.

Here’s How This Shoe Will Decompose Like Food In Your Trash – I’m not sure if they were biodegradable or not, but I’ve had a few pairs of Adidas decompose on me.

What Will We Do With The 2%?

Social Security's 2%

The 2% payroll tax holiday has been extended for a couple of months, and it will probably be extended for the rest of 2012. I’m guessing a lot of people don’t realize this 2% goes straight to Social Security–no other government spending is involved. Long term, that means Social Security isn’t going to be funded as planned. You can’t keep a pyramid scheme going ad infitum, but this may bring Social Security as we currently know it to an end sooner rather than later.

That may be a really good thing.

The longer people are taking the 2% home, the more difficult it’s going to be to convince them it needs to be withheld later. The longer people keep taking that 2% home, the more likely it is there will be some kind of Social Security reform deal cut to end the tax holday.

Here’s a possibility…

Bush 43 failed at convincing people that Social Security needed to be partially privatized. But how would people feel in 2013 if they were offered the option to save that 2% in a private account when withholding resumes? For those already saving responsibly for their own retirement, there wouldn’t be much resistance. They could break even by reducing their contribution to a qualified plan by the same 2% they’re going to be mandated to save. For those doing nothing currently on their own, they’ll be forced to take some ownership of their future instead of only relying solely on the current Social Security plan. Some may balk at that, but when you tell them they’re going to be taxed an extra 2% either way, they probably won’t complain much.

I’m guessing this would lead to some sort of means testing for Social Security, which we’re probably headed for anyway if we’re honest with ourselves. I’m betting I’ll never see Social Security either way, so I’d happily take the compromise of being guaranteed my 2% private account and having to give up the other 4.2% as a “safety net tax”. Well, “happily” may be a stretch, but 2% is better than getting none of the 6.2% I’ve had taken from me up to now.

Newt Gingrich as suggested something similar, but without the means testing. Instead, he’d guarantee current Social Security benefits as the floor.

Image credit

Bull Butter!

Class Warfare’s Next Target: 401(k) Savings.

You did the responsible thing. You saved in your IRA or 401(k) to support your retirement, when you could have spent that money on another vacation, or an upscale car, or fancier clothes and jewelry. But now Washington is developing plans for your retirement savings.

Well, they aren’t talking about confiscating your retirement savings. Instead, they want to have you “invest” that money into Treasury bonds. Oh, by the way,  you are free to do that now, if you so choose.

It’s exactly what we’d all be doing that if we believed the rate of return was worth the risk involved in the investment.

My suggestion to anyone who is in favor of this crap is to go ahead and divest all of your retirement savings currently sitting in mutual funds/stocks and buy up Treasury bonds.

Then come talk to me about why this is a good idea. We’ll have that discussion again in 10 years or so and see what you think about it then.

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