Thursday, August 21, 2008

Goofy Retirement

Let's play a game.

Suppose your employer offered a retirement plan that went something like this.

The company will withhold 6.2% of your paycheck and match it with an equal amount. The money will be used to fund a retirement plan that you can start to collect as early as age 62 if you wish.

If you leave this employer you cannot cash out your balance.

If you make it until age 62, you can begin drawing a monthly benefit for as long as you live.

If you die before reaching retirement your designated beneficiary will receive $255. If you have minor children they will receive nominal monthly checks until the turn 18, then the checks will stop.

The money you receive from Social Security will vary according to your earning power during your working years. In general, low wage earners could receive upwards of 40% or so of their pre-retirement earnings. High wage earners might be lucky if they receive 10% of pre-retirement earnings.

In other words, high achiever's are penalized while low achiever's are rewarded.

In any event, according to the Cato Institute, the amount you could have received from privately invested funds vs. from Social Security is anywhere from 3x to 6x greater.

How much better would your post-retirement standard of living be if you could have taken the same amount of money as paid in to Social Security and invested it yourself?

Social Security.

Your earnings, their rules.

That's just goofy.
blog comments powered by Disqus