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Ask Dave

Is Opting Out Wise?

Art is a pastor, and he wants to know Dave's opinion about opting out of Social Security.

QUESTION: Art on Facebook is a pastor, and he wants to know Dave's opinion about opting out of Social Security. Dave explains how this is possible and runs down the list of things you need to have in place if you decide to opt out.

ANSWER: Under the law, pastors are allowed to be a conscientious objector for their pastoral income and opt out of Social Security. As a Christian, if I were a pastor, I could easily look at the horrible mathematics that are involved in Social Security and see what a rip-off it is, how horribly managed it is. I can look at that as a Christian and say it’s a bad idea to send it to the idiots in Washington. It’s bad stewardship. That is what’s required of you to do that.

Once you do that, you need to understand that you’ve done away with three things that Social Security does handle, if poorly. You get a check at retirement if you have Social Security. It sucks, but you get it. You must make sure to take care of retirement. You must save up because you’ll be completely broke and homeless if you don’t.

You must also take care of long- term disability insurance. If you become disabled, Social Security income would pay you, and you would not get that if you opt out. You should have disability insurance, which you should have anyway, as well as saving for retirement anyway.

The last matter is that if you have children and you die, your kids get Social Security checks if you have paid into this program. Therefore, if you die, you need life insurance to make sure your kids are all right.

Those three items are required if you opt out of Social Security, but they are required for anyone with common sense. Make sure to take care of those three things and then opt out.