By Ernie J. Zelinski
Home Retirement Poems Retirement Speeches Inspirational Quotes Retirement Resources Retirement Wishes Retiring Happy Contact


(A Comprehensive Collection of Facts about Social Security and Quotes and Sayings about Social Security)

Social Security Image #1

 Facts about Social Security

Although people think of it as retirement security, American "Social Security" is not truly a retirement plan; it's a social insurance plan that keeps Americans from becoming destitute in their old age or should they become disabled. "Social security" worldwide is known as a program that involves access to health care and income security, particularly in cases of old age, unemployment, sickness, invalidity, work injury, maternity or loss of a main income earner. According to the International Labor Organization, only 20 per cent of the world’s population has adequate social security coverage and more than half lack any coverage at all.

Social Security was created as a means to help Americans maintain some source of independence and a more secure retirement so that they could end up retiring happy. The program was established under the Franklin Roosevelt administration as a means to provide at least some measure of income in old age. Prior to this, most Americans saved little, if any, for retirement or old age. Investments such as 401K plans and IRAs didn’t exist. Retirees who had little money relied on family and other outside support to support them.

In 2011, nearly 56 million Americans receive Social Security benefits each year, not just because they have reached the retirement age for social security. Nearly a quarter of them are disabled workers, dependents, and young survivors.

For retirement security, the way to maximize your Social Security income is to wait until your normal Social Security retirement age — it is presently 66 for any American born between 1943 and 1954 — to collect retirement benefits. The normal Social Security retirement age will gradually increase to 67 for anyone born in 1960 or later. Future Social Security reforms could change those rules.

Americans can collect Social Security retirement benefits at 62, the earliest social security retirement age. Social Security retirement benefits will be reduced by 25 percent or more, however, for the rest of one's life. What's more, if the individual continues to work at a retirement job, benefits can be reduced even more — sometimes wiped out completely — if he or she earns more retirement income than the allowed limit.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the 1983 Social Security amendments. Social Security, at that time, was on the brink of not being able to mail out checks so that Americans could receive their social security income. The oldest baby boomer in the early eighties was under 40. Lawmakers and the Social Security Retirement Benefits Department were worried about making payments for the next decade.

The Social Security retirement benefits program is for all intents and purposes a government program financed through taxes. Retirees should not kid themselves that they are just getting back money they have put in. The large majority of Americans collecting SS benefits today have not contributed anything near what they stand to collect even if they only collect for fifteen years or so.

Social Security — contrary to popular belief —  is, and always has been, an income-transfer program, not a funded retirement plan. Like any other American government program, there are no guarantees. In fact, the Social Security system can be ended at any time. The money paid into the Social Security system is not saved there particularly for the individual. You are not entitled to any of it, much like you are not guaranteed the benefits provided by other government programs.

An American who receives the maximum Social Security monthly benefit of $2,346 in 2011 will receive a total of $320,000 if he or she lives another 10 years, $740,000 if he or she lives 20 years and more than $1.3 million if he or she lives 30 years, assuming benefits are increased by 2.8 percent cost-of-living adjustments.

A recent USA Today study indicates that more than a third of American workers
have set aside absolutely nothing for retirement. Perhaps you think that you will live comfortably on Social Security if you have no retirement savings. Not so. The average annual Social Security payment is only about $11,000. Can you really live comfortably on $11,000 a year? If not, then you better start saving now and saving a lot if you want to retire happy.

Financial experts disagree on the best ways to invest in one's retirement portfolio so that one can maximize retirement security. Most financial advisors agree, however, that you should not rely solely on Social Security to fund your retirement. Plan your retirement based on other sources of retirement income and look at Social Security as a bonus. Coffee money, in other words.


First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

 #1 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

The [Social Security] system is not intended as a substitute for private savings, pension plans, and insurance protection. It is, rather, intended as the foundation upon which these other forms of protection can be soundly built. Thus, the individual's own work, his planning and his thrift will bring him a higher standard of living upon his retirement, or his family a higher standard of living in the event of his death, than would otherwise be the case. Hence the system both encourages thrift and self-reliance, and helps to prevent destitution in our national life.
— Dwight David Eisenhower, January 1954

#2 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

Some in our country think Social Security is a trust fund — in other words, there's a pile of money being accumulated. That's simply not true. The money — payroll taxes going into Social Security are spent. They're spent on benefits and they're spent on government programs. There is no trust We're on the ultimate pay-as-you-go system — what goes in comes out. And so, starting in 2018, what's going in — what's coming out is greater than what's going in."
— George W. Bush, February 2005, explaining Social Security to Americans.

#3 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

Social Security is a government program with a constituency made up of the old, the near old and those who hope or fear to grow old. After 215 years of trying, we have finally discovered a special interest that includes 100 percent of the population. Now we can vote ourselves rich.
— P. J. O'Rourke

#4 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

I used to have dreams that I died at my desk. Now that I have retired and am collecting Social Security, I don't have those dreams anymore.
— Unknown wise person

#5 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

Age-based retirement arbitrarily severs productive persons from their livelihood, squanders their talents, scars their health, strains an already overburdened Social Security system, and drives many elderly people into poverty and despair. Ageism is as odious as racism and sexism.
— Norman Vincent Peale

#6 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

This whole Social Security thing is a Ponzi scheme that will have a very bad ending soon.
— Steve, commenting on article about Social Security

#7 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

Fact is, sooner or later there is going to be a massive restructuring of the American Social Security system and Americans are going to find out that they have no Social Security — or at least a lot less — to rely on for a retirement income than they had anticipated.
— Ernie Zelinski, writing on Redroom article

#8 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

It is with great satisfaction that I have signed into law the Social Security Amendments of 1961. They represent an additional step toward eliminating many of the hardships resulting from old-age, disability, or the death of the
family wage earner. . . . A Nation's strength lies in the well being of its people. The social security program plays an important part in providing for families, children, and older persons in time of stress, but it cannot remain static. Changes in our population, in our working habits, and in our standard
of living require constant revision.
— John F. Kennedy, June 1961

#9 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

But if they try to cut Social Security benefits, I'm sorry to say, there will be a revolution.
— Dennis Orr, August 2011

#10 Quote of First Top-Ten List of Quotes about Social Security

The Republican Party is a friend of Social Security the way Colonel Sanders was a friend of chickens.
— Charles T. Manatt


More Social Security Quotes and Retirement Sayings

Funny Retirement Qutoes Image


If you’re counting on Social Security (the "Felony Fund") as a future nest egg, forget it. There is no Social Security fund. The whole thing has been a short-term-patching fraud from the outset, just another government
scheme to get its hands on more of your money in an effort to keep the sinking [government] ship afloat.
— Robert J. Ringer

We must begin by insuring that the Social Security system is beyond challenge. [It is] a vital obligation each generation has to those who have worked hard and contributed to it all their lives."
— Gerald R. Ford, February 1976

Retirement Age? For Many, It'll Be 80
— headline on Smart Money Website

My retirement plan is to find a shopping cart with good snow tires.
— Patty Doyle

If you won't find what you want to know about Social Security and having a happy retirement in the Bible, you will find it in Shakespeare. And if you won't find it in Shakespeare, you will find it in Ernie Zelinski's How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free.
— Dave Erhard

Retirement Cafe Book

  • Over 425,000 Copies Sold 
  • Published in 9 Foreign Languages 

We will reform Social Security and Medicare, sparing our children from struggles we have the power to prevent.
— George W. Bush, January 2001

For the last three years, the government has said the cost of living hasn't gone up so we haven't gotten an increase in our Social Security. I don't know what planet they're living on.
— Larry Schlagel, 75, of Merrillville, August 2011

Why shouldn't retirees expect some reduction in Social Security and Medicare benefits, and soon? Before we retired, or will retire, we lived beyond our means by voting for those congressmen who would keep taxes low and borrow from the trust funds to pay government bills. Woe to the politician who would ask us to fully pay the taxes necessary for the services we expected from government.  This large accumulated debt to the funds is coming due. So we have an obligation to help pay it off by accepting less from them or paying higher taxes on our retirement income. As retirees, we have no right to just pass our debt off on our kids. We certainly helped create it and should help pay it off.
— Werner Gruhl, Columbia (Commenting on  a newspaper article about Social Security)

To every American out there on Social Security, to every American supporting that system today, and to everyone counting on it when they retire, we made a promise to you, and we are going to keep it.
— George H.W. Bush, January 1990

The key to making the most of Social Security is to die young in spirit, as late as possible.
— Anon

Social Security is a secure way to find great pleasure in being terribly deceived.
— Ernie Zelinski, writing on Redroom Blog

Social Security is very complex and each case must be analyzed individually and coordinated with the rest of your financial and life plan.
— Susan L. Moore Vault, president of Moore Financial Strategies

No organization — government or otherwise — can take great care of you in retirement. Organizations aren't capable of this — only you are!
— from Life's Secret Handbook

Probably the only place where a man can feel really secure is in a maximum security prison, except for the imminent threat of release.
— Germaine Greer

Most men love money and security more, and creation and construction less, as they get older.
— John Maynard Keynes

The government wants you to keep working so they can delay beginning the pay out of Social Security. The financial community wants you to keep working and investing more in them. They all keep trying to convince us that we are going to live longer and promote the fear of not having enough saved. All the retirement seminars I have attended in the past ten years keep pushing the idea that we will likely live well into our nineties. For the vast majority of us that isn't likely. All of these experts are more concerned with keeping our money in their control as long as possible and really don't care about our well being. Unfortunately, the best indicator that I have found is to look at the age your grandparents and their siblings died along with their health problems. For me that will be age 78 maximum for a man and for my wife's family it will be 78 for a woman.
— Nomen, commenting on article about Social Security

Social Security Time: When you have given so much of yourself to the company that you don't have anything left that the company can use.
— Author Unknown

If they cut Social Security, there will be a civil war.
— Jack Chestnut, August 2011 



For When You Make Your Retirement Speech

and Start Collecting Social Security

Retirement Jokes Image - Tennis Game 

When you imagine your ideal retirement, what does it look like?

  • Are you playing tennis? 
  • How about traveling to exotic countries around the world? 
  • Working at a part-time retirement job? 

If you want . . .

  • The Secrets to an Effortless, Happy Retirement

  • The Secrets to Having Everything You Want in Retirement


  • Over 425,000 Copies Sold  
  • Published in 9 Foreign Languages  
Make the most important investment that you can make for your retirement right now:

Purchase How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free Today: Logo Click Here to Purchase on 

by Ernie J. Zelinski — All Rights Reserved
Author of The World's Best Retirement Book

 I will do today
what others won't,
so I will have
tomorrow what
others don't.
— John Addison
No organization — government or
otherwise — can take great care of you in retirement.     Organizations aren't capable of this — only  you are!
— from Life's Secret Handbook

    OVER 425,000      COPIES SOLD 

How to Retire Happy on


How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free on

Surveys of seniors overwhelmingly      suggest that higher incomes don't drive satisfaction in   retirement. That said, there is a minimum
of income required to enjoy retirement.
— Dan Richards
I'm regularly asked     what my [retirement]  plan is, and I    deliberately don't have much of a plan. I've had lots of plans in my life and it might be nice to have a period      that is less planned.
— Malcolm Hamilton, Expert on Pensions 
& Retirement Planning

 The World's Second Best Retirement Book at

OVER 315,000      COPIES SOLD


  The Joy of Not Working on




Career Book Image



Kindle Edition of    Career Success       Without a Real Job