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Some facts about Social Security

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Posted: Monday, June 6, 2005 10:00 pm

The point about the privatization of Social Security is that we don't all get the same advice or invest in the same stocks, not all stocks are winners, and last, but not least, the stock market fluctuates.

And for the record, my 401(k) is with Merrill Lynch, for heaven's sake, not Billy Bob's Steaks and Stocks.

I can be thankful that I wasn't an employee of Enron or United Airlines (or that I owned their stock). I can't imagine what it must be like to have worked for a company for years, thinking that my retirement is taken care of, only to find out that it isn't.

At least I would know that I had a little bit coming in each month from Social Security. But hey, if I needed some extra income, I guess I could be a greeter at a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Here are a few Social Security facts:

• At the end of 2003, 47 million Americans, or 1 out of every 6, received monthly benefits.

• In 2001, the Social Security Administration found that, for almost two-thirds of households comprised of those 65 and older, Social Security provided more than half of their total income and, for a third of this group, provided at least 90 percent.

• For women, Social Security is particularly important as we tend to have fewer earnings (due to lower wages or time off from the labor force) to rely on in retirement.

• Since 1983, Social Security has taken in more than it's paid out therefore building up the trust funds (currently worth in excess of $1.5 trillion).

Now, just because you haven't heard me say anything in the media against the possible 2,755 new homes (call the Planning Department) in Lodi doesn't mean I'm for them. Far from it. So many things to protest, so little time.

I'd be more than happy to give some advice to anyone who is interested in trying to fight City Hall in Lodi. You have to have a thick coat of armor, or lots of pain killer, because banging your head against the wall to little avail means you'll have lots of headaches!

Betsy Fiske




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