Money Matters – Questions from Listeners #4
BOSTON (CBS) – Q: Is Social Security going belly up?
A: NO. But it is in trouble. The Social Security administration collects money every week from your paycheck. What is not used to pay out benefits buys special issue interest paying Treasury bonds. Now this is a paper transaction. So the surplus is loaned to the government for their general use. Lately there has not been much of a surplus.
The reserve though is $2.6 Trillion. That is just a number. So when the treasury needs to pay back the money that’s when problems will occur. Social Security has predicted there are enough dollars to last thru 2037. After that, they will have about 75% of the dollars needed.
Without cutting benefits, there are many things we can do to preserve Social Security. Tax someone’s income entirely. Right now, you are only taxed on the first $106,800 you earn. Raise the eligibility age beyond 67.
Q: Do you really think you can save money clipping coupons? It seems so old fashion.
A: I do believe you can do well clipping coupons. They have some extreme coupon clippers that manage to get so much free stuff. Many of these extreme clippers are now running seminars and websites or have written books on how to do it! I have never been able to walk out of the store with a weeks’ worth of groceries for $5.
Also, we are a fussy brand loyal family. There are so many allergies in my family to so many different things that I don’t change dish or clothes detergent. Not even a different brand of toilet paper. I buy the same products week after week. And when I have coupons, I can do very well.
Studies have shown coupon clippers that spend 13 minutes a week save about $8 a week. Does not sound like a big deal but that does add up to $400 a year. Increase that to 20 minutes a week and studies have shown you save $1000 a year.
Saving money does become seductive. Not as addictive, as Ben & Jerry’s ice cream but you may get to the point like I did the other day and did not buy something because I knew I had a 20% off coupon at home. Treat your coupons like currency.
You can get your coupons from the Sunday papers as well the internet, grocery stores and the product packaging.