Tag Archives: DailyKos

Here’s Why You Might Be Kissing Your Social Security Check Goodbye … a repost

by sean Williams

an opinion

Source: Flickr user wonderlane

Social Security is a financial backdrop that’s been in place for nearly eight decades in order to help low-income retirees upon their retirement, as well as the disabled and surviving family members of qualified deceased workers. It’s also a program that covers 167.5 million current workers and is expected to pay benefits to countless millions in the future.

According to the latest data from the Social Security Administration, the average retired worker is pulling in $1,328 a month in benefits income, while retired workers with a full-retirement aged spouse are earning an average of $2,176 per month. Optimally, Social Security wasn’t designed to replace more than 40% of a worker’s salary in retirement, although this figure is higher for low-income individuals (55%) than it is for maximum earners (27%).

But based on a terrifying new report released by HealthView Services, the majority of your Social Security income will likely be used to help pay for healthcare expenses in the future if you’re unprepared for retirement.

Source: Flickr user frankleleon

Kiss your Social Security check goodbye
HealthView’s 2015 Retirement healthcare Cost Data Report derived data from some 50 million healthcare cases and took into consideration a number of factors that include age, gender, income, and even state of residence in order to calculate a person’s potential lifetime healthcare costs.

Per HealthView, retirees will have to cope with the costs for Medicare Part B and D (Part B covers medically necessary and preventative services, while Part D helps cover the cost of prescription drugs), as well as supplemental insurance. Additionally some individuals and couples will purchase variable health expenses such as vision, dental, hearing, as well as other co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses that aren’t already included in Medicare Part B & D or covered by supplemental insurance.

Source: AARP, Facebook

Based on its retirement study, HealthView suggests that a 66-year-old couple today can expect healthcare costs to consume 67% of their lifetime Social Security benefits. For a couple that’s currently 55 years old and planning to retire at age 65, HealthView’s data suggests that 90% of their Social Security income will be used to pay healthcare expenses.

Assuming the laundry list of expected and variable expenses listed above, a couple of full retirement age retiring today could expect $394,954 in lifetime healthcare expenses, while a couple expecting to retire in 10 years at age 65 could see healthcare expenses of $463,849. In monthly dollar terms it means the average 55-year-old couple would need to sock away $1,206 per month if their goal were merely to pay for Medicare Part D and supplemental insurance.

Source: AARP, Facebook

If these figures weren’t scary enough, HealthView’s assessment assumes that couples will maximize their Social Security benefits, which is not always the case, and that medical cost inflation averages about 6% per year, which isn’t out of the question considering the history of medical cost inflation over the past 45 years. Also, these cost estimates could be conservative as the state you live in could inflate your medical costs, and pressure on the Medicare Trust Fund could adversely impact retirees’ out-of-pocket costs.

3 keys to retirement bliss
If HealthView Services study has taught us anything, it’s that the younger generation needs to start saving for retirement as early as possible in order to avoid being “surprised” later in life by medical expenses. I’d suggest there are three actions young Americans need to take to lessen their chances of falling victim to HealthView Services scary scenario.

First, young and middle-aged Americans need to trust in the long-term returns of the stock market. I fully understand the shock and awe of the 2008-2009 market collapse is still ingrained in the minds of millions of Americans, but all market indexes are now well beyond their 2007 highs now, meaning investors who stayed the course, or perhaps even bought more, came out ahead.

Source: Flickr user Celestine Chua

Historically the stock market has returned 8% per year, which is a far better return than you’re going to find by purchasing a bank CD, putting your money in a money market account, buying a U.S. Treasury bond, or putting your money under the mattress. It’s really one of the few ways you have to outpace inflation over the long run. Plus, if you add healthy dividend stocks to your portfolio and consider reinvesting your payout back into the stocks you own you could really supercharge your returns.

For example, using Bankrate‘s investment calculator I assumed an individual at age 18 could start their investment portfolio with $2,000 and add $2,500 annually, or a little less than $210 per month. Assuming a tax rate of 15%, a full retirement age of 67 (so, 49 years of work history), and an annual rate of return of 8% (note, I’m not even including dividends here), our fictitious investors would essentially have $1 million upon retirement. What’s more, if their portfolio averaged an annual yield of 2% from dividends, their $1 million could easily double to $2 million or more. That would more than likely cover your medical expenses in retirement.

Source: Roth IRA, Facebook

Secondly, Americans need to think long term by taking advantage of tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

For America’s youth there may not be a better deal available than a Roth IRA, which currently allows for a contribution of up to $5,500 per year (persons aged 50 and up can contribute up to $6,500 annually). On the downside you’ll see no upfront tax benefit from contributing to a Roth IRA, but the back-end benefits can be astronomical since any and all capital gains and dividend payments are completely free of taxation as long as you don’t withdraw funds from your Roth IRA before age 59 1/2 for an unqualified reason.

Finally, Americans of all ages need to understand the intricacies of the Social Security program so they can maximize their benefits in retirement. For some this could mean simply waiting until age 70 to claim their benefits in order to maximize their Social Security payout. For couples it could mean a number of strategies, such as “File As a Spouse First.”

This strategy, as long as both members of the couple are of full retirement age, allows a spouse to file an application for benefits with the Social Security Administration, but restricts the application to just spousal benefits. This way the retirement benefits of the filer can continue to grow until they claim their own benefits at age 70 and they’ll get spousal income in the meantime.

Long story short, the way to maximize your Social Security benefits may not always be readily apparent, so it pays to familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the Social Security program.

How one Seattle couple secured a $60K Social Security bonus — and you can too
A Seattle couple recently discovered some little-known Social Security secrets that can boost many retirees’ income by as much as $60,000. They were shocked by how easy it was to actually take advantage of these loopholes. And although it may seem too good to be true, it’s 100% real. In fact, one MarketWatch reporter argues that if more Americans used them, the government would have to shell out an extra $10 billion… every year! So once you learn how to take advantage of these loopholes, you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after, even if you’re woefully unprepared. Simply click here to receive your free copy of our new report that details how you can take advantage of these strategies.

The funds are there…they just might get spent on something else

Planned ParenthoodWe were beginning to think it might never happen, but the Washington State legislative session has finally come to a close.

Here’s the good news: The budget includes enough money to fund fair access to birth control for all Washington women!

But here’s the bad news: The Senate Republican Majority refused to include a line item directing the State Medicaid office to spend that money on equitable access to Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives (LARC). Instead, the lowest-income women in Washington could still end up with unequal access to the best contraceptives available, even though the money is there

WA LARC 2015

The fight’s not over!

It is both unfair and wrong-headed to deny Washington women fair access to birth control, and we aren’t backing down.
Governor Inslee has the power to change this, and he needs to hear from you about it.
We are fortunate to have a governor who agrees that all women should have access to a full range of reproductive health care services. Now it’s time for him to exercise his leadership and direct the state Medicaid agency to ensure equitable access to LARCs.
Your activism got us to this point and now we are so close to the finish line! Without your hard work, we would not have the funding in the budget in the first place.

With your help once more, we’ll make sure Governor Inslee knows it’s critical that he take the final step.

Thank you for taking action,
Jennifer Allen
Director of Public Policy
Planned Parenthood Votes Northwe

Shall We Dance On Ice … Save the Date 12/12/2015

Thanks to anap62 for the great vids … just listened to kristi say SWDOI will be back !!! 12/12/15  hoping meryl & maks will be back too

 Kristi Yamaguchi announced that  SWDOI will be back !!!



Fossil fuel production on public lands is incompatible with stopping runaway climate change. I urge you to issue an executive order that instructs federal agencies to stop granting new and expanded leases to extract coal, oil and gas from public lands and coastal waters.


The 2009 Racial Justice Act … reminder

The North Carolina Racial Justice Act of 2009

…     prohibited seeking or imposing the death penalty on the basis of race. The act identified types of evidence that might be considered by the court when considering whether race was a basis for seeking or imposing the death penalty, and established a process by which relevant evidence might be used to establish that race was a significant factor in seeking or imposing the death penalty. The defendant had the burden of proving that race was a significant factor in seeking or imposing the death penalty, and the state was allowed to offer evidence to rebut the claims or evidence of the defendant. If race was found to be a significant factor in the imposition of the death penalty, the death sentence would automatically be commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.[1]

North Carolina General Assembly Repeal attempts[edit]

Under pressure from a group of 43 district attorneys, who expressed opposition to the act citing the clog of the court system in the state, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill by a 27-14 vote on November 28, 2011, that would have effectively repealed the Racial Justice Act.[2] However, on December 14, Governor Bev Perdue, a Democrat, vetoed the bill, saying that while she supports the death penalty, she felt it was “simply unacceptable for racial prejudice to play a role in the imposition of the death penalty in North Carolina.”[3] The state legislature did not have enough votes to override Perdue’s veto.

Major revision (2012)[edit]

The North Carolina General Assembly passed a major revision of the law in 2012 authored by Rep. Paul Stam (R-Wake). The rewrite “severely restricts the use of statistics to only the county or judicial district where the crime occurred, instead of the entire state or region. It also says statistics alone are insufficient to prove bias, and that the race of the victim cannot be taken into account.” The bill was vetoed by Gov. Perdue, but this time, the legislature overrode the governor’s veto.[4]


The North Carolina General Assembly voted to effectively repeal the entire law in 2013 and Gov. Pat McCrory, a Republican, signed the repeal into law.[5]

Appeals under act[edit]

On April 20, 2012, in the first case appealed under the Racial Justice Act, the then-Senior Resident Superior Court Judge in Cumberland County (Fayetteville), Judge Greg Weeks, threw out the death sentence of Marcus Raymond Robinson, automatically commuting his sentence to life without parole. Robinson contended that when he was sentenced to death in 1994, prosecutors deliberately kept blacks off the jury. Robinson’s lawyers cited a study from Michigan State University College of Law indicating that prosecutors across North Carolina improperly used their peremptory challenges to systemically exclude qualified black jurors from jury service.[6][7][8]


  1. Jump up ^ Senate Bill 461, General Assembly of North Carolina, Session 2009
  2. Jump up ^ Bufkin, Sarah. “North Carolina General Assembly Votes To Repeal Landmark Racial Justice Law”. Think Progress: Justice. Retrieved 8 December 2011. 
  3. Jump up ^ Jarvis, Greg (2012-12-15). “Perdue veto saves death-row appeal law”. The News & Observer. 
  4. Jump up ^ News & Observer
  5. Jump up ^ Charlotte Observer
  6. Jump up ^ “Judge: Racism played role in Cumberland County trial, death sentence converted in N.C.’s first Racial Justice Act case”. The Fayetteville Observer. April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  7. Jump up ^ “Racial bias saves death row man”. BBC News (BBC). April 20, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  8. Jump up ^ Zucchino, David (April 20, 2012). “Death penalty vacated under North Carolina’s racial justice law”. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 21, 2012.

Resource …wiki

so, I do not know how accurate this is