April 20, 2008
THOUGHTS ON RETIREMENT, FROM JERRY POURNELLE:
I discovered to my horror just how much the Feds tax retirement including Social Security! Having collected taxes for my lifetime -- including to this day -- on self-employment to pay into the Social Security account, they hand me a miserable pittance compared to what I would have got had I simply put the money into a money market account; then they tax part of it away.
Same with retirement accounts. They tax Roberta's State Teacher's Retirement income. They tax my TIAA retirement income from my academic years. Incidentally, a few years of TIAA/CREF generated a very sizable fraction of the income I get from Social Security from paying into that all my life. I have taken the "minimum distribution" option from TIAA, so I could get a lot more; my theory is that Mr. Heinlein was right, we writers are professional gamblers, and it's well to have your house and car paid for and sock something away for a bad year, because you are likely to have one. Robert ran scared all his life.
Clearly the government wants us to spend ourselves broke and throw ourselves on welfare. Then they will stop fining us every year. They fine us for speeding, for spitting in the streets, for doing things they don't want us to do: they also fine us for improving our property, investing money to grow the economy, saving money; the implications are pretty clear?
As the Rainmakers sang, "They'll turn us all into beggars 'cause they're easier to please."