Good catch. I've discussed the ability to pay back and restart SS
with a number of people who might have qualified to do it. None of
them have done so. The issues involved, often including having to
restate and recalculate your income taxes for several years, make
it far from a trivial operation.
Plain Bread alone for e-mail, thanks. The rest gets trashed.
That sounded reasonably fair.
You should have a chance to "un-retire" the first year should you have
your retirement finances.
Most of the other applications seemed arbitraging the system to make
for more well-off people. I was considering trying that.
While the once in a lifetime restriction is reasonable I disagree that
the 12 month rule is reasonable unless social security is going to
start doing a much better job of explaining what options are available
when someone applies for benefits.
For example, I had no idea at the time I reached full retirement age
that I could apply for spousal benefits under my wife's account and
defer applying under my account until age 70. When my wife and I
learned this I immediately filed a withdrawal of application but it was
14 months after I started receiving benefits before I discovered that
this option existed.
I understand the problem social security is trying to solve but
penalizing beneficiaries because they were unable to discover all of
the rules and options on their own is not the best solution. Why not
simply charge interest on the "loan"?
I agree that it is obscure but the reason that some Social Security
employees are not aware of it is that it is not included in their
training. I delt with some that were aware and some that were not. I
live in a city of about 700,000 population and IIRC, the agent that
processed my 521 said they had 28 in process at that time. If that is
correct a few hundred nationally seems low.
The other thing that has changed is that more articles on retirement
planning are discussing it as a tool. That is how I found out about the
option. I suspect the number of people exercising the option has been
growing due to the increased publicity and that is the reason for the
Bill, I am completely in sympathy with your problem. However, it
is up to each of us to research the matters, and possibly seek
professional advice if necessary, BEFORE certain acts occur....
I've stumbled like that in things, and each time inspired me to
do an even better job of planning for the next event. After all,
a bell can't be unrung, and many of our laws have built-in deadlines
and expiration times...... It is very useful to stay in touch with
newsgroups, for instance, to see questions and problems that
others are having in order to see things coming down the road
at us that we hadn't thought of.... Also, networking with others of
our age and just talking about SS, Medicare, taxes, etc will
often head off some bad stuff...
Good luck on your future planning. Education doesn't stop
at college graduation, or on reaching 65 :>))))))))
Andy in Eureka, Texas
Your comments about research are right on target when you talk about
college graduates. But what about the average American? How are people
whose career is fixing cars at the local Honda dealer, working at
Walmart, working on the production line at Ford, assembling electronic
equipment in a Siemens plant etc supposed to find out about these
carefully concealed options. Like most members of congress you have the
view that the average person in this country is just like you and the
fact that you read and post on this forum proves that is not so.
Viewing the world as a mirror of ourselves is something we all do and
it takes concious effort not to do it. However, when considering if a
program like social security or medicare that will be used by all
Americans you need to be very careful to look at it from the
perspective of the full spectrum of people that it will server.
Unfortunately, that attitude is sometimes coupled with the belief that
anyone not like ourselves don't really deserve more than "our kind of
people" who know how to research and find information about important
financial matters. Not that anybody around here would hold such an
aristocratic view, of course.
Yes, that is true. And sometimes those people are not really as "self-
made" as they would like to believe. It is possible for success,
riches, and fame to come upon people as a result of advantages that
are not at first apparent, or even by pure chance, "being in the right
place at the right time," etc. Then, it is easy for them to look back
and delude themselves into believing that they possess unusual drive,
determination, character, whatever, that have brought about their
Just as the movements of the stock market can be seen as random and
unpredictable, so also are the fortunes of investors and entrepreneurs
often, although of course not always, a matter of blind luck. Once
those favored few have achieved wealth and success, however it may
have come about, they are quick to believe they "deserve it," "have
earned it," etc., while the less fortunate people deserve less,
because of their laziness or lack of motivation. The ones who fool
themselves perhaps are less likely to have empathy for the less
fortunate. The ones whose achievements truly reflect their abilities
and motivation are more likely to regard the less fortunate with
IMO, the whole thing is way too complicated.
For example: Someone got the idea the add some rules to the HOA; we
have to ask permission to place a flower pot visible from the street
on *our* property, and *our* drapes must suitably match the house. Not
unlike the Federal Government, this is a misuse (or abuse) of
delegated responsibility. The correct idea is to further individual
freedom, not to enforce a sheep-like compliance with some 'person's'
imaginings of what 'everyone's' reality is. The HOA rules reduce
property values, not to mention the 'intangible' quality of life (the
rules specify submission of a form, together with photos or
illustrations, and what it will look like, something only a self-
justifying lawyer or an abused child could create - for a potted
It's a disease.
(I have no idea what this has to do with rebooting social security,
but I had to echo your sentiments. "Ordinary" people don't want to
bother with these details, and neither do nurses who spend 30%+ of
their time on government paperwork instead of caring for their