7 Blunt Social Security Truths You Need to Hear

first_img3. Congress didn’t steal a dime from Social SecurityThere is no shortage of hypotheses as to why Social Security is facing an estimated $16.8 trillion cash shortfall. Chief among them is the idea that Congress borrowed or stole the money in Social Security’s asset reserves and failed to pay it back. The thinking here is that if lawmakers repaid Social Security with interest, everything would be hunky-dory.The blunt truth is that Congress hasn’t stolen a dime from the program, and every cent is currently accounted for.Social Security’s asset reserves (i.e., its net cash surpluses built up since inception) are required by law to be invested in special-issue bonds and, to a lesser extent, certificates of indebtedness. Just because the program is holding federal bonds (as opposed to sitting on cash in a vault) doesn’t mean the assets aren’t there. Plus, holding bonds allows Social Security to collect interest income on what’s borrowed. In 2019, almost $81 billion in interest income was earned by Social Security.The fact is, the federal government repaying all of these bonds would actually make the program worse off than it is now.Image source: Getty Images. 4. Immigrants are a 100% positive for the programAnother theory behind Social Security’s financial shortcomings is that immigration is at fault. The thinking here is that if Social Security income wasn’t paid out to undocumented workers, the program would be in excellent financial shape.This is also false.For starters, legal immigration is an absolute must for the program’s financial success. The Trustees’ modeling counts on an average of at least 1.26 million legal net immigrants entering into the U.S. each year over the long term. Since legal migrants tend to be younger, they’ll often spend decades in the labor force contributing via the payroll tax before receiving a retirement benefit of their own.As for undocumented workers, they’re not receiving a traditional Social Security benefit. Since they have no Social Security number, they’re unable to receive traditional protections afforded by the program.Image source: Getty Images. Image source: Getty Images.1. Social Security can’t go bankruptFor the past 35 years, the annually released Social Security Board of Trustees report has cautioned that long-term (75-year) revenue collection would be insufficient to support outlays. Or in English, the program is facing a funding-obligation shortfall over the coming 75 years, which, as of the 2020 report, weighed in at $16.8 trillion. A mammoth shortfall like this has a number of folks (especially millennials) believing that Social Security simply won’t be there for them when they retire.This is false.Social Security absolutely needs some TLC from lawmakers in Washington, D.C., but is in absolutely no danger of insolvency. That’s because two of the program’s three sources of funding — the 12.4% payroll tax on earned income and the taxation of benefits — are recurring sources of income. As long as Americans keep working, revenue will continue flowing into the program for disbursement to eligible individuals.However, keep in mind that just because Social Security can’t go bankrupt, it doesn’t mean sweeping benefit cuts are off the table. October 16, 2020 5:06 AM 7 Blunt Social Security Truths You Need to Hear Image source: Getty Images.2. Benefits are only designed to replace 40% of the average worker’s wagesAs noted, more than 3 in 5 current retirees rely on their monthly payouts to account for at least half of their income. Further, 34% of seniors count on Social Security as pretty much their sole source of income (90%-100%). In reality, both of these figures are far too high.According to the Social Security Administration, retired worker benefits are only designed to replace about 40% of the average worker’s wages during retirement. For low-income workers, this percentage could be a bit higher, whereas for high earners, it’s a bit lower. The point is, Social Security income wasn’t designed to be a sole or, in many instances, even a primary source of income during your golden years.While you can count on Social Security income being there for you when you retire, you should also be saving and investing so you can have other sources of income available during retirement.Image source: Getty Images. For better or worse, Social Security is our nation’s most important social program. Each month, 64.8 million Americans receive a payout, and 46 million of them are seniors. Of these seniors, 62% lean on Social Security to account for at least half of their monthly income.Given Social Security’s importance to the financial well-being of our nation’s elderly, you’d think the program would be well-understood by the American public — but that’s often not the case. Myths and misinformation dominate, masking the truth about the program that current and future retirees need to know.Here are seven blunt Social Security truths you need to hear. 5. Fixing Social Security means some group(s) will be worse off than beforeDebate has been ongoing for decades as to how to fix the Social Security program. If the Trustees’ estimate is correct, and the program’s $2.9 trillion in asset reserves are exhausted by 2035, sweeping benefit cuts of up to 24% may await retired workers and survivor beneficiaries.While we don’t know what a future fix might look like, what we do know is that every solution will result in some group or groups of people being worse off than they were before.For example, if taxation is raised on high earners to boost near-term revenue, these well-to-do workers will be paying more into the program without a commensurate increase in future benefits. Likewise, if the full retirement age were to be gradually increased from its peak of age 67 in 2022 to, say, age 70, future generations of retirees would see their lifetime benefit potential reduced.All Social Security fixes result in some group(s) being worse off than they were before.Image source: Getty Images. 6. Neither party’s Social Security solution is a cure-allCapitol Hill is certainly not hurting for solutions to resolve Social Security’s estimated long-term cash shortfall. Both the Democrats’ plan to increase taxation on the wealthy and the Republicans’ solution to gradually increase the full retirement age make Social Security financially stronger. However, neither solution is, by itself, a cure-all.The GOP’s plan is designed to reduce program expenditures over time. But raising the full retirement age takes decades to realize substantive savings. Thus, the Republicans’ plan wouldn’t resolve Social Security’s immediate funding crisis.Meanwhile, the Democrats’ fix to increase taxation on the wealthy would resolve the programs’ short-term funding concerns, but it ignores a number of other ongoing demographic changes, such as record-low birth rates, increased longevity, and reduced levels of net legal immigration. As a result, expenditure cuts would be needed at some point to keep program outlays under control.Image source: Getty Images.7. Congress has a history of waiting until the 11th hour to fix Social SecurityFinally, you should understand that, while Congress has a history of passing bipartisan Social Security legislation to shore up the program, lawmakers tend to kick the can down the road a lot before actually taking action. newsfeedback@fool.com (Sean Williams) Posted: October 16, 2020 5:06 AM Updated: October 17, 2020 11:07 AM Why not tackle Social Security’s shortcomings now? As I pointed out earlier, all Social Security fixes will result in some group of people being worse off financially than they were prior to a fix. This could result in the groups of people who end up worse off voting out of office the elected officials responsible for passing Social Security legislation. This possibility is what entices lawmakers to continually sweep Social Security’s issues under the rug.The last time a sweeping overhaul of the Social Security program was passed in Congress was 1983. This happens to be the year that Social Security’s asset reserves would have been exhausted had lawmakers not passed legislation to shore up the program. If history is any indication, Congress is unlikely to tackle Social Security’s cash shortfall until sometime in the next decade.The $16,728 Social Security bonus most retirees completely overlookIf you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. For example: one easy trick could pay you as much as $16,728 more… each year! Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after. Simply click here to discover how to learn more about these strategies.The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedinTop Videoslast_img read more

Election Day in Trinidad and Tobago

first_img · The Progressive Empowerment Party – 28 · The Trinidad Humanity Campaign – 7 · The National Party – 1 The 2,200 polling stations were scheduled to open at 6:00 a.m. in 41 constituencies across the country. The people of Trinidad and Tobago vote in General Elections today, after an elections campaign limited by protocols related to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This is the full list of contesting political parties and number of candidates: · The United National Congress – 39 · The National Coalition for Transformation – 2 · The Progressive Party – 1 · The Independent Liberal Party – 1 · One Tobago Voice – 1 · The New National Vision – 6 The electorate will choose from among 19 political parties and four Independent candidates. The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) says 1,134,136 voters are eligible to vote in today’s poll. · The Progressive Democratic Patriots – 2center_img · The Movement for Social Justice – 5 · The Trinidad and Tobago Democratic Front – 1 · The Movement for National Development – 3 In the last elections in 2015, the Peoples National Movement (PNM) of Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley won 23 of the 41 seats at stake, and the United National Congress (UNC) of Opposition Leader Ms Kamla Persad-Bissessar took the remaining 18 seats. · The Congress of the People – 4 Trinbagonians give Prime Minister Rowley another termPrime Minister Dr Keith Rowley led his People National Movement (PNM) to victory in Trinidad and Tobago’s general elections on Monday. Preliminary results show the PNM won with a reduced majority, capturing 22 seats, down from the 23 they got in the last elections in 2015. The victorious candidates include…August 11, 2020In “Headline”Trinidad and Tobago Election results reflect will of the people: CARICOM Observation MissionThe CARICOM Elections Observation Mission to Trinidad and Tobago’s general elections on Monday say voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or harassment and the results reflect the will of the people. The Mission, in its Preliminary Statement issued Tuesday, however called for guidelines and regulations on the…September 8, 2015In “CARICOM”Arrival Statement:  CARICOM Election Observation Mission to Trinidad and Tobago  The twelve-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Electoral Observation Mission for the Trinidad and Tobago General Elections on Monday has been engaging various groups and institutions since its Members began arriving in the country on 1 September. The Mission is headed by Mr. Orrette Fisher, Director of the Electoral Office of…September 4, 2015In “Belize”Share this on WhatsApp · The Nationwide Organization of We the People – 1 · The People’s National Movement – 41 · Unity of the People – 1 · The Unrepresented Peoples Party – 1 The EBC has assured the public it is safe to vote, and said it consulted with various organisations to ensure the process is simple and complies with all possible health guidelines. · The Democratic Party of Trinidad and Tobago – 1 Voting ends at 6 p.m. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… last_img read more

Lulu Chef’s Mussels

first_imgWho: Chef Philippe CorbetInstagram: @chefrey73Chef Corbet’s Guest-Worthy Recipe: Lulu Chef’s MusselsWhy? These Chef’s Mussels are easy to prepare and great to share among friends and family. Simple enough to prepare in a hurry for surprise guests and delicious enough to impress everyone. Serve family style for all your guests to share.Ingredients2-1/4 c white wine1/2 c peeled and thinly sliced shallotsJuice of 2 lemons2 c of heavy cream1 lb unsalted butter, cubed2 Tbsp minced garlic1 Tbsp cooking oil1/2 c chopped Sundried Tomato3-4 lb mussels, cleaned1 Tbsp chopped fresh chiveSalt & PepperDirectionsMake A Beurre BlancCombine white wine, shallots, and lemon juice in sauce pot. Bring to simmer and let the mixture reduce by two-thirds. Add the heavy cream to the pot. Bring to simmer and reduce by half. With a hand blender, slowly incorporate the butter cubes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Reserve in bain-marie or on stove at low heat to keep it hot.Cook The MusselsIn a large pot over medium heat, add your cooking oil. Add the minced garlic and let sweat down. Add your mussels over the garlic. Toss.Finish & GarnishTake your beurre blanc and pour over the mussel mixture. Mix in your sundried tomato. Let cook until all mussels are completely open. Finish with the fresh chive, et voila!Don’t forget the baguette or French fries! Sharelast_img read more

Research proves CO2 storage is a secure climate mitigation tool

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

ICF plans open access

first_imgPAN-EUROPEAN intermodal operator Intercontainer-Interfrigo is applying to the Belgian Ministry of Transport for registration as a licensed train operator. This would enable ICF to bid for paths under EU Directive 91/440, although it would probably lease locomotives and crews rather than acquire its own. ICF Chairman & Managing Director René Hellinghausen is keen to see whether managing its own paths will enable ICF ’to exert better control’ over the cost of rail movements.At the end of December, ICF launched a pilot ’E-Business’ facility, enabling selected customers to access price data, book consignments electronically, and track their movements via the internet. The scheme is due to be expanded to more customers by the end of March. Together with a simplification of its general terms and conditions, the moves are part of ICF’s efforts to boost customer service. Following a 17% drop in traffic since 1998, cost-cutting measures include closing some offices and selling off 10% of the wagon fleet. Unveiling the company’s provisional results for 1999 on December 14, Hellinghausen revealed that the ICF board had decided the previous month to invite ’new rail sector firms’ to take a stake in the business. ICF has long been owned by a consortium of European national railways, but he hoped that bringing in ’new partners’ will create ’a still wider range of services’, although ’sale of ICF products will in future increasingly involve partnerships.’last_img read more

HS2 consultation launched

first_imgUK: The government launched a public consultation process for construction of the proposed London – West Midlands high speed line on February 28.The consultation, which runs until July 29, will take the form of a series of public meetings and events along the planned 190 km route that is proposed to run from London to a new terminus in Birmingham and a junction with the existing West Coast Main Line near Tamworth. In addition, the consultation process will consider the government’s wider aim of a national high speed network, the next phase of which envisages plans for a ‘Y’-shaped route taking HS2 north from Tamworth to Manchester and Leeds.Announcing the plans in Birmingham, Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said ‘high speed rail offers us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the way we travel. Countries across Europe and Asia are already pressing ahead with ambitious plans for high speed rail, and we cannot afford to be left behind.’ He added that completion of the ‘Y line’ from London to Manchester and Leeds would cost around £32bn in total, and would accrue £44bn in benefits over 60 years.Infrastructure manager Network Rail welcomed the start of consultation, stressing that HS2 would relieve the existing WCML, which incoming Chief Executive David Higgins described as ‘Britain’s busiest and most economically vital rail artery.‘It will be completely full by 2024 with no more space to accommodate the continued predicted growth in both passenger and freight traffic’, he said.last_img read more

Transport Summit Puts Region’s Priorities Centre Stage Says MSP

first_img“I am delighted that exploring this was a manifesto commitment by the SNP.  Again, we need a feasibility study at a local level to be presented to government so that it is a priority and ready to go as soon as the capital funding is available.  Linking Dumfries better to the central belt, by both road and rail, in my view will have the most significant economic benefit to the whole region.” Joan McAlpine MSP said the summit held by the Transport Minister Humza Yousaf and Deputy First Minister John Swinney in the Easterbrook Hall put the transport priorities of Dumfries and Galloway centre stage, with improvements to the A75 and better links between Dumfries and the M74 a priority identified.  Mr Yousaf told the summit the Strategic Transport Projects Review (STPR), which identifies priorities up until 2032, was being refreshed and the summit offered an opportunity for the region to have more influence. “Danny, Lewis and their co-campaigner Adam little are all young people who want to stay in the region and have identified improving the road as a way of making that possible, so it is important that we listen to their arguments.  Mr Yousaf repeatedly praised them during the summit. During the meeting, hosted by John Swinney, Ms McAlpine pointed out that the A75 improvements included in the STPR should be more ambitious. “We have to use this opportunity of the STPR review to get more projects onto the long term national transport infrastructure plan.  The Minister was clearly impressed that a number of these projects were included in the presentation made to him ahead of the summit by Danny Pool and Lewis Irving of the dual the A75 campaign. “But as well as the A75, it is absolutely vital that we connect Dumfries to the central belt of Scotland. Commenting she said: “The summit was hugely positive and it was very clear that the Minister was listening.  It represents a step change for Dumfries and Galloway.  I don’t think anyone could reasonably expect the Minister to come and announce road improvements when feasibility studies have not been conducted at a local level.  In fact, there are no shovel ready projects being proposed by SWESTrans on the A75, because the existing ones have all been delivered. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInMore projects in Dumfries and Galloway will be included in the Scottish Government’s long term transport objectives as a result of the Transport Summit held today (Monday) in Dumfries. Ms McAlpine, who introduced the A75 campaigners to Mr Yousaf ahead of the summit, said the regional transport authority needed to develop a new series of projects that could be ready to go if included in the STPR.  But she emphasised that connecting Dumfries to the M74, and improving rail links to the regional capital also had to be included in the STPR. However, one of the reasons for this is that the local priorities identified in the A75 route action plan have now all been delivered – the majority by the SNP Government since 2007, including the Dunragit Bypass and the Hardgrove to Kinmount upgrade.  The Regional Transport Strategy – which was supposed to be reviewed and updated every four years, has not been refreshed since 2008 when it was first drafted.last_img read more

LIME Dominica helps CARIFTA athletes return home

first_img 23 Views   2 comments President of the Dominica Amateur Athletics Association (DAAA) Cedric Harris, appealed for financial assistance via a local radio program earlier this week.Ten Dominican athletes, who recently performed at the 2013 CARIFTA Games in the Bahamas, are reportedly at the Panamanian Hotel suites compliments of LIME Dominica, after they encountered accommodation challenges.According to a press release, the company responded swiftly to an appeal from president of the Dominica Amateur Athletics Association (DAAA) Cedric Harris, for financial assistance via a local radio program earlier this week.Some team members were not able to procure US visas to transit via Puerto Rico or Miami, which forced them to take the longer Trinidad/Panama route to attend the CARIFTA games. A shortage of sufficient finances for hotel accommodation in Panama resulted in the twelve member team of young athletes and officials sleeping on benches at the airport on the first leg of the trip. Mr. Harris, who led the team to the games, requested assistance as he did not wish to subject the group to the same uncomfortable experience on their return home. Without any contacts in Panama and insufficient funds to cover hotel accommodation, ground transportation and meals, Mr. Harris turned to the local talk-show to appeal for assistance. LIME’s general manager Jeffrey Baptiste who heard Mr Harris’ appeal, immediately contacted LIME’s telecom’s partner, Mas Mobile, Cable and Wireless Panama and within hours all the necessary arrangements were made. The team was met upon arrival and transported to the Continental Hotel in Panama City. Meals and free internet access will also be provided as well as return transportation. “These are our fellow Dominicans out there; our young people in need – we had to do all in our power to assist them,” said Mr. Baptiste. “The future of our beloved country lies in the hands of our young people and how we respond to them during their time of need will fashion their thinking and hone their character,” he continued. Mr Harris has expressed gratitude to LIME and Cable & Wireless Panama (Mas Mobile) for coming to the team’s assistance in this critical time of need. “I have the country’s young people in my care and I needed to ensure their comfort and safety and I am grateful for LIME’s assistance in helping make our return home a lot more comfortable and less stressful,” he said. LIME also provided Mr. Harris free telephone access to report on the team’s performance. LIME extends congratulations to all the athletes who participated in the CARIFTA Games and wish them a safe trip back to our beautiful island home. Dominica Vibes News Tweet Share Sharecenter_img Share LocalNews LIME Dominica helps CARIFTA athletes return home by: – April 3, 2013 Sharing is caring!last_img read more

DEXIA disappointed with hot pepper yields

first_img Sharing is caring! Share BusinessLocalNews DEXIA disappointed with hot pepper yields by: – July 27, 2018 Share Tweetcenter_img Share 190 Views   no discussions General Manager of DEXIA, Gregoire ThomasGeneral Manager of the Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA), Gregoire Thomas has expressed disappointment in yields of hot peppers from contracted farmers.Thomas noted that although hot pepper has the potential to make Dominica competitive in the market, it has not been very successful.This was said at the opening ceremony of a two day Farmer Growers training, hosted by DEXIA in collaboration with PROPEL held at the Public Service Union building on Thursday 26 July 2018.He stated many times the yields received from contracted farmers do not match the money that they are paid.Thomas noted that have had “challenges” with hot peppers, adding that in the past, “they have engaged Caribbean chemicals to assist us in terms of looking at how we can improve our yield”.“Sometimes for me, it is a bit heartbreaking when I see that we sign contracts with farmers to produce hot peppers, and the returns I see coming, based on the cheques that we have to write, I am a bit disappointed that we are not getting the expected results,” Thomas stated.He said while they have been disappointed with the yields, DEXIA will continue to work towards realizing the full potential of this crop with respect to generating income for farmers and the country.“But we continue to pursue, and we continue to push the hot pepper crop, because we still believe that there is potential in the hot pepper crop, not only for the fresh food market, but there is also the potential for agro processing and for value adding,” he noted.Thomas further added that “based on the pack house program, we are going to be intensifying our efforts in terms of looking at value added products”.last_img read more

AmpliTech Group Inc. Files 10-K for FY 2016

first_imgThe AmpliTech Group has announced filing of their FY 2016 10-K. The company continued its growth and met its planned revenues in excess of $ 2 million setting a record for the company. In previous press release of January 2017, the figures were inadvertently reported as those of AMPG (AmpliTech Group Inc.), when in fact they were referring to AMPG’s sole subsidiary, AmpliTech Inc. The Company disclosed that the error was due to the confusion associated with the similar names of the two entities.The parent company, AMPG, does not generate revenue but owns AmpliTech, Inc., which is the sole source of its revenue. Although the two operate essentially as one company, the difference in the financials is evident. This is due to the fact that the parent company accounts for the expenses generated to maintain its fully reporting public status, thus leading to the offset in the consolidated financials. The reporting was merely an oversight and purely unintentional. Another unexpected expense that had to be accounted for in the fourth quarter was the tax liability for 2016. The company had NOL carryovers from previous years that could not be used as planned.Notwithstanding the unexpected issues mentioned, the company still had an outstanding year of profit and revenue.Key Highlights and Traction in 2016: Record revenues of over $ 2 million. A 37% increase from prior year Increase in gross profit of 40% Net Income of $ 415K and EBITDA of ~$ 500K Decrease in interest expense of 57% New facility with increased efficiency and more space for growth New website with increased functionality and product exposure for increased sales worldwide Investment in R&D creating new product lines with higher margins Entered into agreement with a leading national distributor to increase sales, enhance marketing, and stock inventory to support customer demand Exhibited in leading industry Mega trade shows (IMS 2016 and EDICON 2016)  Sufficient backlog of orders and pursuing several sources of organic revenue to significantly increase sales over the next 2 to 3 yearslast_img read more