social security

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon — May 27, 2010

May 27, 2010 // 0 Comments

Can Social Security be Fixed? Last Thursday and Friday, I attended a tax conference in Traverse City. This spring conference is always held in a great location and is well attended. It’s always good to see fellow tax professionals after a long tax season and interesting to see how they fared through another arduous tax season. Our federal Congress and Michigan legislature, in their infinite wisdom, ensure that there is always a never-ending supply of subjects to be covered. Of course, some years they pass more laws than others, and this year they seem to be off to a particularly good start, especially the federal Congress. I think they want all of us tax professionals to stay in business forever.  At these conferences, since it is two days long, we are afforded the luxury of covering a few new subjects and also a myriad of “old” subjects. The more proficient we can be in these old subjects, the better level of service we can give to our clients. One of the old subjects we covered was the topic of Social Security.  Tax professionals like me answer questions all year long on various aspects of Social Security. As we ourselves are getting older, our clientele is also getting older. According to the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP), the average tax professional in the United States is 56 years old.  In Michigan, the 800+ NATP members average 57 years old. What this means is we tax professionals have just as much of a vested interest in the Social Security system as our clients do. We are all in the same boat.  If the Social Security system goes belly-up, that’s a problem of epic proportions. Since a significant portion of many taxpayers’ retirement income will come from Social Security, it’s in our national best interest to keep the system solvent and afloat. There are a number of reasons the system is going bankrupt. There are a number of fixes that the government can make that will prolong the time at which Social Security might go bankrupt.  Over the next few weeks, I will look at these reasons and these fixes. At the same time, in order to help our clients, we have to be able to answer […]

The Tax Attic – June 18, 2009

June 18, 2009 // 0 Comments

Social Security to go bankrupt It has been an eventful and good last few months for the Coon household. Stephanie, our oldest daughter, has been a student at Rush Medical University in Chicago for the last four years. At the end of April, she completed her studies at Rush. Prior to that time, she found out that she would be serving her three years of residency in Grand Rapids at Spectrum. To say that her mother and I were excited to have Stephanie coming home was an understatement. Since Stephanie also earned her undergraduate degree in Chicago at North Park University, she has really been in Chicago for the past eight years. It will be nice to have her home for the next three years. Having a daughter become a doctor is an event all by itself, but there is more to the story. It has been a whirlwind few months. Stephanie has been engaged to Devon Cunningham, a transplanted Californian, since last year. The Coons gained a son-in-law on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Congratulations to Stephanie and Devon. On Wednesday of the week of the wedding, Devon and Stephanie bought a house near Spectrum. Since they will be employed for the next three or four years, many incoming medical residents choose to buy houses instead of renting. Once Stephanie and Devon found out she was coming to Spectrum, the plan was to move all of their belongings directly from Chicago up to a house in Grand Rapids. As so often happens, however, things don’t work out quite like the plan. Delay after delay resulted in the house-closing not occurring until the week of the wedding. That meant they and all of their belongings lived at our house until after the wedding. It’s just Deb and me in our home, anyway, so there is plenty of room. But I am sure Stephanie and Devon would have preferred to not have to move everything twice. Then, on June 13, Stephanie and 120 of her classmates received their degrees and became doctors of medicine. All of them will be completing their residencies throughout the U.S. and specializing in many different areas. Stephanie is going to specialize in emergency room medicine. This was not only a […]

The Tax Attic – June 4, 2009

June 4, 2009 // 0 Comments

Why is Social Security going bankrupt? As I have written in previous articles, I enjoy going to sprint car races, particularly the winged sprint car shows put on by the World of Outlaws. It’s a traveling circus that comes to Michigan usually once a year. Sometimes they come when I’m out of state, up in Canada fishing or on vacation-darn. Sometimes they come and the show gets rained out-double darn. However, once in a while, all of the stars line up and I get to make the short drive down to Clarksville’s I-96 Speedway and see the greatest dirt show on Earth. The Indianapolis 500 lays claim to being the “greatest spectacle in racing.” That may be, but in my opinion, the World of Outlaws has no equal when it comes to racing on the short dirt tracks. The drivers are fearless, the racing is spectacular, and where else in the world of sports can you go visit with the big stars after a night’s work? All fans can go to the pits after the races and talk with many of the drivers. They are very accessible. Try that after a Tigers game, a Red Wings game, a Lions game or the Indianapolis 500-good luck. As noted in last week’s Grand Rapids Press, the World of Outlaws announcer, Johnny Gibson, has a trademark saying as the cars line up four-wide to take a parade lap before the start of the feature event. It goes like this: “You wanted the best, you got ’em, four abreast, often imitated, never duplicated, the greatest show on dirt, the World of Outlaws!” He’s not kidding either. It truly is the greatest show on dirt! There is another subject that I would like to discuss that also isn’t anything to kid about. It’s Social Security. According to a recent report by the Social Security Administration (SSA), the SSA will be totally out of money in 2037. I will be 85 in 2037 and my wife, Deb, will be less than 85. For my own well-being, I won’t get any more specific than that. To say, however, that I am interested in seeing how and if President Obama and our Congress is going to deal with this issue is an understatement. […]

1 2