BUZ LIVINGSTON: The Grinch

Published: Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 17:29 PM.

Speaking of spending, Walton County has the high sign for beach nourishment and, not to worry, TDC bed tax revenue will cover the costs with the state and federal government kicking in roughly 50 percent.

 I hate to be the Grinch of Christmas Future, but Walton County taxpayers will be on the hook sooner or later.  You see the federal government has promised to be our fiscal partner for 50 years … what could possibly go wrong? Go to www.ssa.gov and download your 2013 Social Security benefit statement.

 Mine says Social Security benefits “may change because, by 2033, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 77 percent of scheduled benefits.” It also says Congress has changed its mind in the past, a factoid we should take to heart. 

Demographics will pressure government spending, and only the imprudent base long-term plans assuming the status quo. For retirement planning we adjust Social Security benefits depending on a client’s current age. No retirement planner worth their salt would do otherwise.

We also include additional healthcare expenses beginning when clients are in the 70s. Absent of any changes Social Security and Medicare, two essential programs, will be challenged by increased longevity.  Beach nourishment may be a hard sale when coupled with Social Security and Medicare cuts.  

Even in worse-case scenario current workers will get a Social Security benefit.  Ponzi schemes, on the other hand, leave zero dollars in their wake, correct Mr. Grinch? Merry Christmas!

Buz Livingston, CFP has a Blue Mountain Beach based fee-only, hourly financial planning and investment management firm. For more information, visit www.livingstonfinancial.net or come by our new office at 2050 Scenic 30A, M1-Unit 230, Redfish Village.



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