Very simple: I don't want any Social Security Benefits, I don't want the taxes or the benefits, and am aware of the risks. For 2023 the max taxable income for Social Security Tax is $160k and 12.4% of that is just shy of $20k.

If I had the choice to opt out so I don't don't pay, I'm 20 yo right now, over the course of 40 years and assuming I live to 60 I will have saved a little less than $800k. Why do I have to pay this if I don't want to?

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    Become the citizen of another country and disavow your USA citizenship. But you might want to look deeply into their tax structure and social security system as well...
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 21 at 17:23
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    I removed the rant pat of this and distilled it down to the question
    – JohnFx
    Jun 21 at 19:21
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    @BernhardDöbler oh wow really??? I didn't know SSA taxes pay our lights, streets, and military??? Then I guess my income and property tax pays for retired elder and disabled people. Very weird I guess the IRS mis-labeled what each tax goes to, thank you for clarifying 😄😄😄 😐 Jun 22 at 19:22
  • @ImpressiveVeryNice your income and property taxes most definitely pay for retired elder and disabled people.
    – littleadv
    Jun 22 at 20:44

3 Answers 3


Why do I have to pay this if I don't want to?

Because that's the law. I don't want churches to be tax free, so what?

why don't they just force me to pay $20k each year so that I can get a big pink fluffy unicorn incase I want one after I turn 62?

Tell your representative in Congress to work on that, if enough people want that you might get it.

But if there is a way to not pay SSA taxes please tell me.

Do not earn money from personal services. Alternatively, move to a different country (although you may still end up paying social security taxes there as well).

From the comments you seem to correlate your personal contributions to the SSA fund with what you expect to get back from the SSA fund. That's not how social security works. What you're paying into the SSA fund is used to pay the current retirees. It's not an accumulation pension like a 401k or IRA where you're paying into a sequestered bucket dedicated to you personally, from which you'll later draw. No, your taxes are used to pay the current retirees. If you don't need SSA income when you're old - the employees subject to FICA taxes then will thank you for reducing their tax burden, but it is not relevant to the taxes you are paying now.

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    Tell you what. You pretend your SS taxes are going to the military (or some other government service you do believe in), and I'll pretend that the portion of my taxes that would have gone there is going to social security instead. Outside of that, yeah, if you don't like the US tax codes your choices are to have no taxable income or property, or to move out of the US if you can find a place you like better, or to vote your preferences and accept that it's all compromises.
    – keshlam
    Jun 21 at 18:05
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    You have to do more than just move - if still a US citizen you will need to continue to file US income taxes and may still owe SSA taxes.
    – Jon Custer
    Jun 21 at 18:14
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    @JonCuster actually no, unless you're self-employed, you will not need to pay SSA taxes in the US on salaries abroad.
    – littleadv
    Jun 21 at 20:10
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    @littleadv Correct, but only if employed by a foreign employer not affiliated with a US employer. Jun 21 at 20:42
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    @ImpressiveVeryNice Again, "Why?" - because that's the law. If you don't understand how insurance works - it's your problem. The SSA is not insurance, by the way, its a social safety net. Everyone will get old, it's not a risk but a fact of life. Whether you'll need that safety net or not is not relevant, the safety net is for everyone, not for you personally.
    – littleadv
    Jun 22 at 20:43

It's a very simple logic really. Lots of people think like you until they need something because they get unemployed, sick, have an accident.... It's basic insurance math; forcing everyone to participate mitigates the problems of adverse selection.

What if I ask you to consider which principles you would select for the basic structure of society, without any knowledge of what position you would end up having in that society. Without knowing your ethnicity, social status, gender, health and intellect. If you select principles impartially and rationally, most people select for a social security net, where the fortunate make the life of the unfortunate a bit less cumbersome. It's not just a pure waste of money for most wealthy either. It's quite inconvenient to watch people starve to death. It's also severely reducing the quality of life if you have to hide behind a fence because you could get stabbed for carrying a bit of money with you.

Prior to social insurance, the elderly used to be an age group with an especially high rate of poverty (which suggests the average doesn't or cannot save enough before becoming to old to work). Indirectly, their working-age children are beneficiaries of the system as well because the elderly no longer have to move in with them.

It's unlikely to go away, because the US had lived through times without it and chose to leave these dark ages behind. If you don't want that, there are still plenty of choices; Haiti, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Afghanistan, to name a few. It seems though, these places aren't particularly nice destinations. I'll leave it as an open question if lack of social security benefits plays any role here. You'd have to give up US citizenship though, because you must file a US federal tax return and pay US taxes on your worldwide income no matter where you live.

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    I think there's not much point explaining the concept of "insurance" to people like the OP. It's the same people who oppose ObamaCare while buying healthcare policies on the marketplace for ACA subsidies. Connecting the dots just not happening.
    – littleadv
    Jun 21 at 20:36
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    @ImpressiveVeryNice yeah, that's exactly the "not connecting the dots" I'm talking about. You don't buy any healthcare policies, so how exactly are you "glad to pay for elder poor people"? You are just incapable of comprehending the concept of insurance. You think that it's a zero sum game, and when you get cancer you'll just buy insurance then and it will be magically taken care of. That's not how the world works.
    – littleadv
    Jun 22 at 20:38
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    @ImpressiveVeryNice In the end of the day, your question was "Why do I have to", and the answer is "Because that's the law". What your personal opinion of this law is, and how misguided or uneducated you are on the matter is not really important.
    – littleadv
    Jun 22 at 20:41
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    @ImpressiveVeryNice no, you will not pay out of your pocket. Once the sh!t hits the fan you will go to the ER, you will start a GoFundMe, you will sign up to any insurance you can find. Yeah, you're all arrogant and brave now, wait for the first chemo. I would be very happy if people like you would actually do what they preach - you'd all die off very quickly and ridden us from your existence. Unfortunately, when you actually do get sick - you'll cry like a baby for the socialist lefties to save you from yourself.
    – littleadv
    Jun 23 at 4:57
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    @ImpressiveVeryNice It seems like you understood exactly the opposite of what I said. You're required to purchase bare minimum, whether you buy more or not is your choice. Same is with FICA taxes - you're required to fund the bare minimum (not even to yourself, you're funding others), whether you decide to spend more to prepare for your own retirement or health issues is entirely up to you. You've clearly stated that you're not ready to prepare for your own retirement or health issues, so I expect in not so distant future to have to pay your bill. Because you're a MuRiCnA who "takes risks".
    – littleadv
    Jun 23 at 5:14

Why do I have to pay this if I don't want to?

The law requires you to pay these taxes.

So how do you get out of the obligation? One way is to get congress to pass a law and get the president to sign it allowing people to either opt out, or allow them to direct their investments of their required taxes.

Over the decades there have been proposals to do this. It has been discussed in speeches, state of the union addresses, and by candidates running for office. None of the plans have passed.

To be fair there have even been plans to increase the taxes, which is the opposite of what you want.

Contact your representatives, vote for politicians that support your viewpoint. That is what it will take to get what you propose.

  • That is what I assumed is the only option. I suppose one of the purposes of my question was to help motivate the movement of people who agree to opt out of certain taxes as long as you don't receive it's benefits of course. Maybe I was able to make more people realize that this way would be more fair, thus increasing the chances of such laws to be passed. Jun 23 at 17:27

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