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Basic Fact Ignored in Social Security Items

September 22, 1985

The article by Edward R. Roybal does an excellent job of setting forth the benefits to young people of the Social Security program. Just as he says, those who retire at age 65 may not get back all they put in; but what about the 25% who never reach age 65?

What about the many who are disabled before age 65? Most life insurance policies do not return 100% of what is paid in.

Term life does not return anything, yet it is the most popular form of life insurance.

So why should Social Security be held to higher standards?

And what are the alternatives? A private investment program? I had one, but even my best efforts did not provide enough income.

Private pension plans? How many disappear over 40 years? How many people are forcibly retired at age 50 or 55 (or fired before they can collect)?

If you worry about whether Social Security will be there in 40 years, think of the worries about the alternative!

Peter J. Ferrara makes the usual mistake by saying that current retirees benefit from small Social Security payments during the early years. I paid $15 per month in 1937.

But was that really small? Translated into 1985 dollars, it was about $500 per month.

Now take my $500 per month and invest it at 6% compounded annually, and the $500 per month I take out now will also be less than I put in. But I was insured and my family was protected all this time.



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