I'm really getting tired of hearing local (and sometimes national) radio spin merchants complain about people on Social Security getting a "free ride." The other day I even heard a radio ad by a local money manager huckster refer to Social Security as "charity," so I decided to review what that program owes me. That's right, owes me.
I worked for Mellon Bank for 40 years, and during that time, I saved every pay statement that I ever received.
Last week, I took all of those statements and itemized, using an Excel spreadsheet, all of the money I paid into Social Security and Medicare over that 40 years. I totaled the FICA, Medicare and other retirement deductions that were taken from my salary without discussion or agreement from me. I felt that these deductions should have at least earned 5 percent interest compounded monthly during this time. I know, they were actually spending it as fast as they took it from me, but if they hadn't taken it from me, and I had saved it on my own, I figure this is at least what I would have by now.
Over my 40 years at Mellon Bank, I paid $107,753.65 in direct payroll Social Security deductions. The interest accrued over that period, at 5 percent compounded monthly, added $101,587.19 -- for a total of $209,340.84 after rounding (this figure doesn't even include the required matching contributions from my employer). Subtracting my current monthly Social Security payment of $1,549.50 starting at my retirement date of Dec. 1, 2003, I finally run out of money on April 1, 2022 -- assuming the principle continues to earn interest on the declining balance, although the payroll "contributions" stop.
Therefore, I figure I have a while to go before my payments become "charity."