Did you know that the social security system is completely voluntary to join? I learned this through my research. If you do not plan to be a Federal or State employee, which must have a SSI number to work with those bureaucracies, and you plan to be your own person through Entrepreneurship, then an SSI number is not needed and you do not need to pay into the social security system. You can take that money and invest it as you see fit.
Here is the form to do away with your SSI Number – SSI Opt out form
If you’re like most Americans, Social Security is a key part of your retirement plans — around 96% of the workforce is currently covered by some sort of Social Security plan. But the current economic downturn has many people seeing an increasingly uncertain (if not downright bleak) future for their Social Security benefits.
How Does Social Security Work?
When you work, you pay taxes into the Social Security system, usually in the form of deductions from your wages and other earnings. (You can see the amount withheld for Social Security by looking at your paycheck stub or accessing your direct deposit records.) Once you retire or are unable to work due to disability, you can apply for the benefits you’ve earned. The amount of your Social Security benefits will depend mainly on three things:
- the number of years you worked at Social Security-qualifying jobs
- how much money you made at those jobs, and
- the age at which you retire.
The longer you work — and the more money you make — the higher your Social Security benefits will be. Benefits don’t kick in automatically, though. You need to apply for your benefits through an application process. You must also accumulate the appropriate number of credits (more on credits below) and reach the age of 62 before you can apply for any Social Security benefits. Your spouse, any dependent children, and eventually your survivors will also be able to receive your Social Security retirement benefits.
How Do Social Security Retirement Benefits Work?
As you pay your Social Security taxes over the years, you accumulate credits that can be used towards your Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need before you can apply for your retirement benefits depends on your date of birth. For example, people born after 1929 currently need 40 credits to apply for their benefits. This is equivalent to ten years of work. You can’t receive benefits if you stop working before you reach the required number of credits, but you don’t lose those credits either. When you return to the workforce, your credits will begin accumulating again from the point at which you left off, until you have enough to qualify.
You can begin gauging what your retirement benefits might look like by carefully reviewing your Social Security Statement. You can view your statement online at www.ssa.gov/mystatement/. Social Security sends out printed statements every five years to those not receiving benefits, and every year to those over 60. For information on reviewing your statement, see Nolo’s article Social Security: Checking Your Earnings and Benefits.
Are Social Security Benefits in Trouble?
The short answer is “Somewhat.” This is because the next decade will see the largest drop in worker-to-beneficiary ratios in history, as baby boomers begin to retire. The problem gets compounded when you consider that people’s life-spans are growing longer, the birth rate is declining, and the cost of living is only going up. And the sad part is that this is all by design. More on that later but to learn more go to http://www.radioliberty.com/stones.htm
When Social Security was first established, the worker to beneficiary ratio was over 15 to 1; today it’s closer to 3 to 1, with odds that it will shrink even further over the next few decades. This means that less money will be put into the Social Security system, while more gets taken out. In fact, projections for 2010 show the federal government paying out more money in Social Security benefits than it will take in via payroll taxes.
Economically speaking, this shortfall is not sustainable, and without an infusion of money from another source, the Social Security benefit system will face problems within the next 50 or so years. Current predictions indicate that the Social Security trust fund will run out in 2037 if nothing is done. After this point, retirees can generally expect about 75 cents on every dollar of their scheduled benefits. Thats because once the trust fund is depleted, there will be no surplus left. From that point on, the amount thats paid out in the form of benefits can only match what’s coming into the Social Security system through employment taxes.
If You’re About to Apply for Social Security Retirement Benefits
If retirement is right around the corner, you probably have nothing to worry about when it comes to your Social Security benefits. The problems described above are highly unlikely to affect current retirees or even those who plan to retire in the next ten years. The SSA has also stated that it has no plans to cut current benefits.
The Social Security Landscape for Current 25-to-35-Year Olds
If you’re decades away from retirement, this is where things get dicey in terms of your Social Security benefits. This is the primary focus of the current debate taking place on Capitol Hill. It is very likely that those currently entering (or relatively new to) the workforce will see a very different Social Security system than the one that’s in place now — absent some sort of drastic change in the numbers.
Unless changes are made, current 25-to-35-year olds face an over 25% reduction in benefits once the Social Security trust fund is gone. The response to this problem varies among politicians, educators, and economists. Some (including the Chairman of the House Budget Committee) believe that though recovery will be slow, it will happen in time to fix the shortfall in the benefit system by the time this younger generation is ready to retire. Others (including various economic think tanks) warn that drastic reform must occur to prevent the inevitable bottoming out of the Social Security system.
Personally, I do not for see any improvement in the social security system. Many young people should opt out and begin saving that portion and investing it. We must learn to handle things ourselves. No one gives a crap about you and I. We must take action ourselves.
Here is an interesting call Julius Bragg made to the Social Security Department.
Interesting call to the Social Security Administration today Posted January 17th, 2009 by Julius Bragg
So I’ve been contemplating turning in my social security number, in order to stop being a Federal United States employee, so I called the SSA today just to see what they would say.
SSA: Hello this is Dorothy, how may I help you?
ME: Hello Dorothy, I recently learned that Social Security is a voluntary insurance program, and that I may terminate my SS number at any time and get out of it, my question is, do I get all of my money back that I payed in when I turn in my number?
SSA: (pissy) No
ME: So I’d probably have to file suit for that?
ME: one more question, is there a SSA form that I fill out to cancel my number?
SSA: hold on let me check… (2 minutes)
ME: I’m here
SSA: we don’t have a form for that, you would have to send in a letter and your card. (much nicer attitude for some reason)
ME: O.K., I was surprised to find out it was voluntary, I always thought it was mandatory to have a number.
SSA: Are you in the United States
ME: do you mean in the United States as defined as the District of Columbia, or do you just mean one of the states?
SSA: one of the states (no hesitation or surprise in her voice)
ME: oh, one of the states
SSA: yeah it actually is mandatory to have one if your not paying into another pension program to the federal or state government.
ME: Oh, you mean if I’m a state or Federal Employee?
SSA: Yes ME: Oh, ok, yeah, I’m not a State or Federal employee, ok, thanks for your time. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For anyone else interested in doing so, the SSA can be reached at 1-800-772-1213. Edward, ID Number DELETED, my SSA customer service rep looked into the termination section of their manual to verify the procedure for terminating my social security number. He gave me the office address and number of my local office and told me to send it in with a letter describing the fact that I wish to terminate my number as it is voluntary. He asked why I wish to terminate my number and I stated that I wished to stop contributing to the program voluntarily. “Well,” he said, “You can just tell your employer to stop withholding the money from your paycheck. That way you can still get the benefits that you have paid into so far. ” I explained to him that I tried to do so with my employer, but my employer believes that he is required to continue withholding. He then went on to say that if I did terminate my social security number through the process he described that I would receive a letter stating that I have terminated the number and withholding can terminate as well.
Brilliant!!!! Absolutely brilliant.