Sunday, May 01, 2005

Personal Social Security Accounts--What's the Answer to This Question?

"A recent Fox News poll found 84 percent of Americans ages 18 to 55 believe they should have the option of creating a voluntary personal account within the Social Security system."
Source: The White House Fact Sheet on Social Security, April 29, 2005.

OK, younger Americans like the idea of personal security accounts. The President says that individuals will own their accounts, but I assume that the accounts have strings attached. I would guess that those monies cannot be spent until an individual retires. Are there any exceptions to that restriction? Are there additional restrictions? Have younger Americans who favor personal accounts thought of these issues?

Here's one question to which I would especially like an answer: Does the proposal allow for the withdrawal of monies when a person is diagnosed with a terminal disease? If I were told by a doctor that I only had six months to live, I'd like to live it up, see places I've never seen, and do things I've never done. In short, I would like to spend, spend, spend. It would be a shame to have worked for that money and not be able to spend it. The President says that people can bequeath their account balances to their children. But lots of Americans have no children. Can they leave their account balances to whomever they wish?

Lots of questions at my end, but no answers at the other end, insofar as I am aware.



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