Tuesday, March 01, 2005

social security

Here's an idea I came across for Social Security reform. Instead of Social Security, how about a $2,000 government investment for each child from birth to 18? A former secretary of the treasury believes such a practice would leave each person in possession of $1,013,326 at retirement age.

No idea on the specifics, obviously, since the article didn't enumerate them. My thought would be that the money would not be vested until beneficiary turned 18, and would not be accessible until retirement. I would expect that in the event of death, the money and interest would return to the government, or however Social Security benefits are handled now.

I thought it an intriguing idea -- as the article claims a number of policymakers do -- but I doubt anything will happen with it. Opposition to this is likely to be high among the Republicans on Capitol Hill, and as one commentator noted in the article, it leaves little incentive for the individual to prepare a 401(k) or retirement IRA. There's also the problem of this program not being able to kick in until 30 or 40 years after Social Security goes insolvent.

Still, it was thought provoking enough that I remarked to my wife how wonderful it would be if we had the disposable income to start putting away money for the girls' retirements each year; alas, we have trouble enough getting the money to put away toward our own retirements and the girls' college educations.

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