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rgbecker's Journal
rgbecker's Journal
October 29, 2013

Thinking clearly about what a decrease in SS benefits would mean to majority of country.

Stumbled upon this when looking into net worth statistics for America.


Quote: The role of Social Security and Medicare in net worth. Estimates based on the Survey of Consumer Finances, as presented above, do not include Social Security or Medicare benefits. Social Security and Medicare benefits are difficult to measure (as discussed in the Appendix) and are not always considered assets in the same sense as private pension benefits or other investments. Social scientists debate whether Social Security and Medicare benefits constitute actual wealth. Recipients do not have property rights over their benefits, benefit levels and eligibility could be changed through legislation and/or regulation at any time, and benefits cannot be borrowed against or in many aspects bequeathed. Moreover, in the case of Medicare, the level of benefits received is dependent on the frequency and intensity of the medical services used. However, workers who pay into Social Security and become disabled receive disability benefits and survivors of working parents who pay into Social Security and die receive survivors’ benefits until the children reach age 18.[9]

Social Security and Medicare benefits alter the net worth picture substantially, if considered wealth. Together, they are the major source of wealth for most low- and middle-income families and over 90 percent of wealth for families with incomes below $25,000 (Kennickell and Sunden 1997; Lerman 2005). Similarly, Steuerle and Carasso (2004) find that Social Security and Medicare benefits comprise roughly 90 percent of households’ expected wealth for households in the bottom two wealth deciles (exhibit 20). Social Security and Medicare benefits are not just important for low-income households; they comprise half or more of households’ expected wealth for nearly 70 percent of households (the first through seventh deciles). Housing wealth, on the other hand, does not make a real contribution to total wealth until the sixth or seventh decile.[10] The bottom line is that, while very difficult to value — especially for younger households — Social Security and Medicare benefits, when considered wealth, contribute a substantial amount to household balance sheets in retirement.

Exhibit 20.
Mean Value and Composition of Household Net Worth Ages 51-61 by Net Worth Decile, 1992

Exhibit 20. Mean Value and Composition of Household Net Worth Ages 51-61 by Net Worth Decile, 1992. See text for explanation.

Note: Private pension (which includes DB and DC pensions), Social Security, other financial (which includes IRA and Keoughs), and housing wealth data
come from Moore and Mitchell (2000), based on a sample of households from the Health and Retirement Survey in which at least one member was age 51-61 in 1992.
Medicare wealth is from Steuerle and Carasso (2004).

October 26, 2013

I think all cat and kitten threads should state so in the title.

It would save a lot of clicks and time.

Those who are interested in reading about cats and kittens could go straight to the threads saving all the reading of the political crap on the DU and those who are not so interested in cats and kittens could just avoid them .....

What do you think? Do we need a cat and kitten forum?

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