Learn How Social Security Evolved

Signed into law on August 14, 1935 by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a limited form of what we now call Social Security has been in place since January of 1937. During the Great Depression, more than half of senior citizens after Retirement were in poverty and the “social insurance” plan was developed by the President’s Committee on Economic Security as a means to combat it. In the beginning, the program was designed to provide benefits to the retired and unemployed, as well as a lump-sum at death.
From the start, the limitations imposed by the program were controversial: benefits were offered for certain professions, leaving out women and minorities in large numbers. Exclusions that kept nurses, teachers, social workers and many others from claiming benefits meant barely more than half of the American workforce received help. In addition to stipulations already in place “just big enough for the majority of Negroes to fall through,” as the NAACP protested, much of the authority for distributing aid was given to the states to appease Southern congressmen. As a result, black families were often allocated less money than white ones, widening the gap even further.
Of course, there was some debate as to whether the program would be considered constitutional at all. The Supreme Court had been quite forceful in striking down New Deal legislation throughout the mid-1930s and, if not for a timely switch after the Judiciary Reorganization Bill was proposed by President Roosevelt in 1937, it might have been eliminated just as the first death benefits were being paid out. A pair of decisions released on the same day, Steward Machine Company v. Davis and Helvering v. Davis, upheld the right of the federal government to set policies for “the promotion of the general welfare.” Three years later, Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont received the first monthly Social Security payment.
The program has evolved almost continuously, as concerns regarding holes in the payment plans led to more inclusive amendments in 1939. The number of covered individuals remained relatively stable until separate amendments in 1950 and 1954 extended coverage to nearly everyone, but dependents and spouses of working women were still prevented from receiving death benefits until 1962. It wasn’t until the 1970s, when protection was extended further and cost-of-living adjustments were created almost 40 years after the bill first went into effect, that Social Security as Americans understand it today came into being.
So this was just a brief of Origin of Social Security

AARP Position on Social Security Reform Uncertain

Confusion reigns after The Wall Street Journal reported a major policy shift from the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) on Friday, June 17th.  The country’s most powerful lobbying group for older citizens, long opposed to cuts in Social Security benefits, is now willing to admit the time has come.  According to John Rother, AARP head of policy, “The ship was sailing.  I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens.”
Opposition amongst membership began almost immediately, prompting AARP CEO A. Barry Rand to issue a statement later in the day against “inaccurate media stories” and “misleading characterization.”  He went on to say AARP is “currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security.”  Though the program has long been known to be running out of time – funding reserves are estimated to disappear in 2036 – Rand reiterated, “Social Security should not be used as piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit.”
Despite the statement, the change is said to have been approved by the organization’s board of directors.  Evidence mounted as the group declined to join Strengthen Social Security, a group of 300-plus lobbying groups created to fight benefit cuts.  Rand made it clear “any changes would be phased in slowly, over time” before going on to mention opposition to certain key issues is just as strong now as it was when the group took a stand against them in 2005.
“They are completely at odds with their membership,” said Nancy Altman, Strengthen Social Security co-chair.  She noted AARP’s change would definitely carry weight in the Capitol, though perhaps at the expense of those it represents.
“I think they’re going to get burned,” said her fellow co-chair, Eric Kingson.
The AARP position shift is said to have limits, particularly with respect to ending the program for affluent beneficiaries.  In addition, it has proposed tax increases to make the program financially stable again, meaning it will have no part in being used for national debt reduction.  (Funding comes from outside the federal budget, so it doesn’t contribute to the deficit, either.)
The Obama administration is said to be looking to raise the retirement age and lower the index for annual cost of living benefit increases as part of a deal.  These cuts would be offset by higher taxes on the wealthy, a move to improve revenue and create better long-term stability for the program.
“Social Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and…sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for the next 75 years,” Rand asserted in the statement.  Both Republican and Democratic representatives believe that minimum standard for solvency can be achieved by collecting more taxes and paying fewer benefits.
AARP has planned dozens of town-hall meetings across the country to explain the problem and possible answers, but selling the policy move to members will be difficult.  According to a February poll from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, resistance to cuts of any kind is high: 84% of Americans 65 and older oppose them.  The group will be mindful of the larger ramifications, too.  It lost 300,000 members after endorsing President Obama’s health-care law, which reduced Medicare by $500 million.

Confusion reigns after The Wall Street Journal reported a major policy shift from the American Association for Retired Persons (AARP) on Friday, June 17th.  The country’s most powerful lobbying group for older citizens, long opposed to cuts in Social Security benefits, is now willing to admit the time has come.  According to John Rother, AARP head of policy, “The ship was sailing.  I wanted to be at the wheel when that happens.”
Opposition amongst membership began almost immediately, prompting AARP CEO A. Barry Rand to issue a statement later in the day against “inaccurate media stories” and “misleading characterization.”  He went on to say AARP is “currently fighting some proposals in Washington to cut Social Security.”  Though the program has long been known to be running out of time – funding reserves are estimated to disappear in 2036 – Rand reiterated, “Social Security should not be used as piggy bank to solve the nation’s deficit.”
Despite the statement, the change is said to have been approved by the organization’s board of directors.  Evidence mounted as the group declined to join Strengthen Social Security, a group of 300-plus lobbying groups created to fight benefit cuts.  Rand made it clear “any changes would be phased in slowly, over time” before going on to mention opposition to certain key issues is just as strong now as it was when the group took a stand against them in 2005.
“They are completely at odds with their membership,” said Nancy Altman, Strengthen Social Security co-chair.  She noted AARP’s change would definitely carry weight in the Capitol, though perhaps at the expense of those it represents.
“I think they’re going to get burned,” said her fellow co-chair, Eric Kingson.
The AARP position shift is said to have limits, particularly with respect to ending the program for affluent beneficiaries.  In addition, it has proposed tax increases to make the program financially stable again, meaning it will have no part in being used for national debt reduction.  (Funding comes from outside the federal budget, so it doesn’t contribute to the deficit, either.)
The Obama administration is said to be looking to raise the retirement age and lower the index for annual cost of living benefit increases as part of a deal.  These cuts would be offset by higher taxes on the wealthy, a move to improve revenue and create better long-term stability for the program.
“Social Security should be strengthened to provide adequate benefits and…sufficiently financed to ensure solvency with a stable trust fund for the next 75 years,” Rand asserted in the statement.  Both Republican and Democratic representatives believe that minimum standard for solvency can be achieved by collecting more taxes and paying fewer benefits.
AARP has planned dozens of town-hall meetings across the country to explain the problem and possible answers, but selling the policy move to members will be difficult.  According to a February poll from The Wall Street Journal and NBC News, resistance to cuts of any kind is high: 84% of Americans 65 and older oppose them.  The group will be mindful of the larger ramifications, too.  It lost 300,000 members after endorsing President Obama’s health-care law, which reduced Medicare by $500 million.
Having a proper Retirement Planning is a must.

Social Security Benefits

How do you think you’ll be able to double your Social Security Benefits? You may goose your retirement income by extending the start of the social security benefits up to age 62-70. However, if you find it hard to wait for so long, you may at least delay it till age 66. It is true that by taking up this approach, you may have to forgo a portion of your income in those initial years, but then, you are sure to make up this difference once the larger checks come pouring in.

Most people are pessimistic about this idea and think that social security checks will stop coming in with time. In fact, you may say that financial planners as well as regular citizens are pretty disdainful regarding the social security benefits. Today, almost all people qualifying for the social security benefits are keen on getting their hands on a check and that too at the earliest. Some, undeniably, have been compelled to go in for early retirement because of economic or health issues, but then, anybody who can avoid taking up the social security check early will certainly do a great favor by postponing the overall process. It is because opting for social security benefits too early slashes what the government offers.The benefits of Social Security are one of the well known retirement benefits that are available in the US and to avail these benefits one has to start giving importance to Retirement Planning.