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Social Security...The end has already begun

posted Nov 1, 2012, 11:35 AM by Wayne Holley   [ updated Nov 1, 2012, 11:48 AM ]

This just in from SPL Financial Group...

                                   November 2012 Newsletter


Dear Friends,


Social Security has certainly been a hot topic lately with the election quickly approaching.  As the candidates have acknowledged and many economist have predicted, Social Security will soon come to an end as a viable option for supplementing retirement unless some changes are made. 

The end has already begun…As millions of baby boomers approach retirement, the Social Security program’s cash surplus will continue to shrink, and eventually the program will be unable to pay the full benefits expected by many of today’s retirees.  Eventually, something’s gotta give – either Social Security benefits will have to be slashed, or other government programs will have to be cut to continue to feed Social Security.   

The reason for Social Security's inevitable decline is fairly simple. Demographics are actually quite predicable. The first wave of baby boomers reached early retirement age in 2008. For the next 17 years thereafter, each year we’ll see more baby boomers reach the early retirement threshold of 62 years old.  Since these millions of baby boomers have not produced enough children to take their place in the workforce, the number of taxpaying workers will begin shrinking – faster and faster as more and more people retire. 

This is a problem, since Social Security benefits are actually paid by the taxes of those still in the workforce. As succinctly stated by the Social Security Reform Center*, “the program's finances are based on the relationship between the number of workers paying taxes and the number of retirees receiving benefits.”

When Social Security was first introduced, this wasn’t a problem. In fact, in 1950, at the beginning of the baby boom, each retiree's benefit was divided among 16 workers, with plenty of tax money to go around. Today, that number has dropped to 3.3 workers per retiree, and by 2025, it will reach approximately two workers per each retiree. Essentially, every married couple will have to pay (in addition to their own family's expenses) Social Security benefits for one retiree. As we can see from these scary numbers, in order to pay promised benefits, either taxes in some form must rise, or other government services must be cut. 

This future is quickly approaching. Social Security's cash surpluses have been falling already over the past few years. In fact, over roughly the next 10 years, those Social Security surpluses, about $100 billion a year at their peak, will continue to shrink and then disappear completely.

And then we are in for a whole mess of problems. Somewhere around 2017, on top of replacing Social Security's $100 billion annual surplus, Congress will have to find billions more somewhere so that Social Security can pay the benefits that it has already promised. Within just 5 to 10 years thereafter, the annual demands are expected to reach $200 billion, and then even $300 billion a year.

And of course this is not even counting Medicare. Projections show that together, Social Security and Medicare will consume an estimated 60 percent of income taxes collected by 2040. What's left would have to finance the entire rest of the government and other social programs. Without reform, Social Security's future is inevitable, like it or not.

Anton, Michael, and Thea

*(Source: Social Security Reform Center; www.socialsecurityreform.org)


United Airlines, friendly but...

posted Oct 11, 2012, 10:45 AM by Wayne Holley   [ updated Oct 11, 2012, 4:33 PM ]

Well, between yesterday and today I've put in about four hours of unproductive time on the phone with United Airlines. Several months ago I had to cancel a flight at the last minute. The end of the 12 month period to rebook the flight is approaching. I found the flight I wanted online and called to make the arrangements for the credit.

Now, the first thing is that there is a rebooking fee of $175 to be deducted from the credit. I understand, that's what I knew when I booked the flight. But then, the agent on the phone could not find the flight at the fare that I was being offered online. Mind you, I was not on some discounter's website, I was on the United website. The closest the agent could get was another $125 more than the online price.

I asked him if he was restricted from offering certain fares and he said no. When I asked to speak with his supervisor, He said okay, put me on hold and then "click" the call was gone.

Well, I guess I know how important I am to them!

What Employers Want...

posted Oct 10, 2012, 8:47 AM by Wayne Holley

Here's a chart from gantthead.com that gives a pretty good picture of some important descrepancies between what employers want and what job seekers offer them: ‎(via Career Hub Blog http://bit.ly/Qh9FvW ).

If you want the better, higher paying job with more responsibility, you should not depend on being able to sell your ability to learn it by doing it. That works okay on entry level positions but not at higher levels.

Are You Missing Out on Potential New Positions?

posted Oct 9, 2012, 9:05 AM by Wayne Holley

A linkedIn notification called my attention to the the article Are You Missing Out on Potential New Positions? While it is basically an advertisement for services, it also makes a great point. If we are seeking to have a rewarding career, then we need to make sure those who might reward us can find us.

As I read the article, I realized that I have been ignoring a very valuable piece of internet real estate: my personal website. I play around with it at one time, but have left it unfinished and unpolished for some time now. That may sound like I have just been missing out because I haven't utilized it. But, the article pointed out that it goes further than that. My website IS being seen, and it is being seen as not finished, not professional.

So, starting now, I will start polishing my website. Making it more professional and complete.

Are you currently happily employed? Or, are you currently in searching for your next great opportunity, like me? 

No matter, you should prepare your professional website, too!

Poway Senior Center Has a Clean Courtyard

posted Jun 18, 2010, 9:59 AM by Wayne Holley   [ updated Jun 19, 2010, 4:10 PM ]

Central Courtyard Was Not Attractive
The Poway Senior Center has a central courtyard that people must pass through to get to different parts of the building.  That's about all anybody used it for.  The courtyard's upkeep has been neglected for a while.  I'm sure part of the reason has been that the water got shut off at a remote valve.  As a result there was no irrigation available.  That made it very difficult to water the plants.

Weeds Grew
Of course, weeds will grow when flowers will not.  The courtyard ended up with a couple of beds full of weeds and no flowers.  While the weeds were growing (eventually, they even died from lack of water), the bush/tree in the corner spread and came  to look shaggy and unattractive.

Come Clean It Up
Paula, my wife is Office Manager there.  She knew I had an interest in volunteering some time.  She helped me get set up to do the job.  All I had to do was show up ready to work and with all of the necessary tools!

It Was Gratifying
The work wasn't overly difficult, but I did break a sweat by the time I finished.  Clearing the weeds out of the beds helped a lot.  But, the job I did trimming that tree into decent shape got the most comments.  Everybody thought it looked so much better.  Overall, I was told the work I did made the courtyard seem like a place people would now go to for a short break.  Or, to sit a while and read a little.

Opportunity Appreciated
I do appreciate the opportunity to help improve the Center.  I look forward to helping them in the future.

Habitat for Humanity

posted Jun 14, 2010, 3:26 PM by Wayne Holley   [ updated Jun 14, 2010, 9:35 PM ]

I'll be volunteering with Habitat for Humanity tomorrow. My assignment for tomorrow will be as Assistant to the Volunteer Coordinator.

Poway Senior Center

posted Jun 14, 2010, 3:24 PM by Wayne Holley   [ updated Jun 14, 2010, 9:37 PM ]

Last week I spent about 16 hours over four days cleaning about 60 dining room chairs.  They had been donated by another organization after several years of use.  There was quite a buildup of grim on many of them.

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