Personal Finance Roundup

9 Thrifty, Meaningful Gifts For Mom [SavvySugar] “It’s tough to find a gift that will reflect your appreciation.”

10 ways to slash your medical costs [MSN Money] “Want to keep your health costs low the easy way? Avoid doing the bad things that tend to land you in the doctor’s office.”

If You’re Under 40, Don’t Bank on Social Security [Wall Street Journal] “If Plan A in your retirement scheme is Social Security, it’s time to start working on Plan B.”

10 Things You Should Do Immediately After Losing Your Wallet [Wise Bread] “Here is a checklist for you, featuring some very important numbers and a little advice that you should follow today to help you keep your valuables safe and make reporting a lost wallet a lot easier.”

7 Bargain Summer Destinations [Smart Money] “Here are seven spots at home and abroad where experts say the lodging deals are sweet enough to offset higher travel costs:”

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  1. hansn says:

    The social security post is rather disingenuous. The far right repeats the claim that social security is in trouble, over and over, in hopes of convincing people it is true. What they want is enough people to be convinced that it won’t be there that they question the sense of paying into it, thus defunding it.

    Congress, under the worse scenario, still has 20 years to fix the problem. This is hardly a looming crisis. The changes needed are small: we could solve the shortfall remove the cap on social security payroll tax.

    The far right wants to present this as an insurmountable problem brought about by changing demographics. In fact, the solutions are simple and easily overcome, but it does mean small changes. The far right wants to present these as mountainous changes in hopes people scrap the program entirely.

    • Tallanvor says:

      I came to leave basically the same comment. Republican fear mongering over Social Security continues to aggravate me, especially when some very small changes – such as eliminating the income limit for contributions – would take care of this issue for an even longer period.

      That said, people should, of course, save for retirement on their own no matter what.

    • Jayrandom says:

      Is that 20 years dependent on the rest of the federal budget sorting itself out? Current deficits are unsustainable over that time period and neither party seems interested in fixing the problem. Perhaps it’s not that the program itself is in trouble but rather that you should remember that it could be targeted to fix future budget problems. Ironically, I suspect one of the easiest targets will be people who saved sufficiently outside of social security.

  2. Tiercelet says:

    Please don’t repost Wall Street Journal scaremongering about Social Security. It is not objective reporting, but reflects an editorial agenda — WSJ and its owners are dedicated to eliminating Social Security. And one of the main strategies is to convince young people to start pretending it doesn’t exist already.

    The reality is that the only way the Social Security is going away is if we choose to let it. There is no immediate, nor any long-term, crisis in Social Security. An extra dollar a month from all payers would be more than enough to patch any theoretical holes (which are made with the most pessimistic possible assumptions about the future state of the economy as it is).

    Even beyond this, “Social Security Crisis” scaremongering is part of a larger campaign against deficits. This campaign is wrongheaded. The United States is not a household, and has no need for “belt-tightening” or any such nonsense. As the sovereign issuer of its own currency, it (like Japan) can support a national debt of pretty much arbitrary size for as long as it needs to. Deficits (government spending exceeding taxation) cause an inflation problem only if they create competition for scarce real resources — which in an environment with 10-15% real un- and under-employment, is a laughable proposition. And in any event, the biggest drag on our economy right now is excessive private debt. Modest inflation would go a long way toward reducing that debt burden and helping to remedy the gross disparities of wealth which are also currently plaguing the nation.

  3. TexasP says:

    The previous comments are too mild. The WSJ use of the word “exhausted” to describe the projected state of the trust fund in 2033 is vile propaganda. If nothing changes, the fund will start to pay out more in benefits than it takes in, but that means at worst the benefits will be reduced by 20 to 30% to match revenues. That is not my definition of “exhausted”.