John Bogle: Social Security’s the Greatest Fixed Income You’ll Ever Get

Retirement Saving

“There are three pillars of the retirement system. One is Social Security. Two is the defined-benefit plan, and three is the defined-contribution plan. They are all in terrible shape. Social Security, I could fix it in five minutes.”

John Bogle is no doubt one of the best investment managers on the planet. He founded The Vanguard Group, which manages approximately $2 trillion in assets, and is credited with the creation of the first index fund available to individual investors. In many ways, Bogle has defined what long-term investing looks like for the average person.

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Although it’s unlikely that Bogle could actually fix Social Security in five minutes, he has laid out a few competent changes that would ostensibly be easy to implement. “I’d change the cost-of-living adjustment — not to cheat the retired people, but to get a formula that was right. It would result in savings,” he said in a question-and-answer session in May. “That in itself would probably cure it. But I’d add a couple of things. I would raise the maximum taxable earnings for Social Security. I’d raise it to maybe $140,000, $150,000.”