Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Reality Check on Social Security

If you think Social Security is solvent, here's a little reality check you can perform.

Everybody gets an annual statement from the Social Security Administration. It contains a summary of the wages you have received that are subject to the social security tax. It also contains an estimate of the monthly benefit that you will receive. Follow these 3 simple steps to find out how insolvent Social Security is.

In the middle of page 3 of your statement is a summary of the taxes paid by you and your employer.
1. Add the Social Security taxes together.
2. Select your approximate monthly benefit from page 2 at the top.
3. Divide the total paid into Social Security (step 1) by the monthly benefit (step 2). This number is the number of months that you have paid for your social security benefit. If you receive Social Security for more months than this, someone else is paying for it and you are on welfare.

For Medicare, the test is even easier: Add your Medicare taxes together from the middle of page 3. How much medical care can you buy with that money? Not much.


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