Washington, DC - There is a knowledge deficit among those who are approaching the age at which they become eligible for Social Security, says senior advocate Dan Weber.
“Social Security is not an entitlement, a government hand-out. It is a savings account funded by the blood, sweat and tears of American workers and it behooves us all to gain an understanding of its ins and outs.”
Weber, who is president of the Association of Mature American Citizens, says that the devil is in the details and the details of Social Security can be complex. He points out that more than three-and-a-half million people in the U.S. become eligible for benefits each year. And, he says, although they will be relying on Social Security to help fund their lives as they grow older, a vast number of them find it difficult to navigate the system.
“That is why AMAC has put its resources to work for those who wish to know what they are owed and how to collect it. Knowing how the system works will help you get the most out of Social Security and will help ensure that you don’t leave the benefits that you are owed on the table.”
There’s been much written about how to get the most out of the retirement fund we’ve been paying into all of our working lives, but much of the advice that is provided can be unclear, according to Weber.
“So, we did our own research and found that, in fact, too much of the guidance that is available is complex and unintelligible for too many people and that in other cases it was downright wrong. That’s the reason that we decided to dedicate ourselves to simplifying the facts about Social Security and providing a source for real-time information. We owe it to our over-50 membership and to all seniors as they approach retirement age.”
AMAC created new resources to educate seniors – including a dedicated Web site, www.socialsecurityreport.org, and a widely syndicated newspaper column. “The column is written by an expert in the field who offers explanations and advice in plain and simple language that informs and cuts through the confusion.”
In addition, AMAC is embarked on a massive effort to work with our lawmakers on Capitol Hill to help shape the future of Social Security. “We meet with the nation’s lawmakers on a frequent and regular basis to promote ways to improve Social Security and help to ensure its viability in the long term.”
He singled out the Social Security Guarantee plan his association has proposed that Weber said would ensure 75 years of solvency for the Social Security OASI Trust Fund. The plan would include a fair and balanced setback for future recipients, guaranteed cost of living increases and a provision for a new personal Early Retirement Account (ERA).
The ERA that AMAC envisions would be similar to an IRA or a 401(k) plan. But, in order to safeguard the funds against risky investments, half of their benefits that individuals choose to invest in ERA accounts would have to be used to purchase guaranteed interest products such as government bonds or annuity contracts. Workers would be free to invest their balances in any other investment that meets certain suitability standards.
“For many elderly Americans, Social Security is what puts food on their tables. It’s their principal source of income, meager as it might be, and they would face cruel hardships if they their monthly checks were cut. What we need to ensure their future is a real and dedicated solution for fixing the system, not pie-in-the-sky theories. And, we need it sooner than later.”