Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Great American Ponzi Scheme

With the 65th anniversary of my birth approaching rapidly, Belle has been nudging me to get down to to the Social Security office and make sure that I am  covered.

It seems that there is this socialized medical plan that everyone has to apply for before age 65, and if you don't apply for it, there are penalties.  So, following the advice and gentle nudging from my lady, I went down today and visited the nice folks at the Social Security Administration.  It irks me as a small-l libertarian to sign up for any government program.  I earned my military retirement, and take great pride in it, but being told that I have to apply for government insurance simply irks the hell out of me.

Because of my date of birth, I also qualify for a high percentage of my full-retired SSA payment benefits, and because Medicare Part B costs money, I went ahead and signed up for that too.  They consider the piddling retirement check that I get from the State of Louisiana as a "windfall", which further reduces the mail-box money the SSA is going to send me.  (Which I also earned through lifetime of work), so how is that a "windfall"?  It sounds to me like I'm being penalized for working hard all my life and taking advantage of retirement plans that come my way.

The nice guy at SSA also told me that I could make up to $40K per year without affecting my SSA retirement check.  Really?  If I get lucky, continue to work hard, and make a decent living, that's going to cut into my mailbox money?  That doesn't sound fair.  Although it explains all those folks I know who are past 65, are self-employed, and work for cash.

At any rate, when I launched myself some 45 years ago, I never thought that I'd actually be signing up for Social Security.  I figured with dual careers in the military and law enforcement, I'd either die gloriously on a battlefield, or ignominiously in a dark alley.  But, I made it this far, against all my expectations.  I'm going to enjoy Christmas, catch my breath and start plotting my next great adventure.  I can't talk about it just yet, but it's going to be a doozy.  I promise y'all.


Anonymous said...

Pain in the butt, eh?

BobF said...

So far, 73, I have managed to do my few SS transactions without actually having to go into the den, er, ah, office. I hope to keep that string going.

I felt the way you do for a time, but then the wife pointed out that WE have been having $$ taken away from us (the entire family) all our productive lives and she/we darned well deserve at least some of it back.

Off the battlefield and out of the dark alleys. Yes, so prepare to enjoy. You have earned it many times over.

Judy said...

And my sister passed away before she even had the chance to draw one cent of the money she invested in the Ponzi Scheme...SSA. So live long and do a bunch of shooting in her memory. She was a hella a shot and earned a few medals before being an adult got in the road of her fun.

Anonymous said...

Whatever your next big adventure may be, my advice would always be "Don't go anyplace from which you can't walk back."

Jerry The Geek said...

Like you (and probably a lot of other folks reading this), I never expected to achieve the ripe age when I would qualify to get back some of the money which I had been forced to contribute to the general fund of "Old Farts Who Lived Too Long".

However, once I reconciled myself to the proposition, I discovered that having an extra couple of grand a month automatically deposited into my bank account was A Good Thing.

You paid into it; now they're paying you back. With interest. (Until you die, so you can penalize the program by living longer.)

I fail to understand your disappointment in reaping the benefits of the SSN Lottery. Without it, I would be forced to live on a small pension from my decades of work in a government job.

If you are REALLY offended, you can put that Social Security money in an interest-bearing investment, and in a couple of years you can afford to buy a bright red sports car.

Or are you just a bit more of a curmudgeon than I am?

Well Seasoned Fool said...

If you haven't already, sign up with the VA. That qualifies as "health insurance" so you don't need to worry about Obamacare penalties.

Steve said...

So, the next adventure.....buying a liquor store in Pineville....

Old NFO said...

Yes, DEFINITELY sign up with the VA! And get your disability rating verified. And you aren't the only one on a third career...LOL

emtgene said...

Welcome to the WEP, Windfall Elimination Provision, a law written by millionaires in Congress to take even more money out of poor peoples pockets. My State Police pension gives them the right to cut my benefits by 2/3s, even though I've been paying into SS for 27 years. What's left will pay the power bill, maybe.