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How insecure is our Social Security?

President George W. Bush made it very clear in his State of the Union message that reforming Social Security is high on his priority list. However, knowledgeable experts are making a good case that the system doesnít need reforming, just relatively minor modifications. Whatever changes are made, however, the results will have a significant effect on both current and future retirees.

On the surface, the presidentís proposal may look reasonable, but the devil is in the details and those arenít spelled out. As part of his total reform package, the president has articulated a number of guidelines to guarantee the safety of these private accounts, to ensure the system remains fair and that the proposed changes do not have a significantly adverse effect on workers. 

The idea of market-based retirement investment accounts gets talked up a lot, but we must remember the no-go years of the early 2000s when the market tanked and, because of stock manipulation, fraud, outright theft and other corruption, hundreds of thousands of people lost all their savings. 

Although the president has made a commitment to honesty and safety, private accounts can become a temptation for many on Wall Street. We have seen over the past few years the large number of mutual fund companies that our New York state attorney general has successfully prosecuted for fraud.

We will monitor carefully the congressional actions to be sure any changes are in the best interests of all. Please respond willingly when we ask for your help. The retirement you save may be yours.

The Communicator March 05

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