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Dipping Into Social Security Benefits

The Opinion page article "Many Retirees Don't Want Aid," Feb. 16, is critical of certain senior citizens for accepting Social Security and of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) for representing them.

The author states that he has received in benefits in a little over three years all that he has paid to the fund. This is a rather simplistic way of calculating pay back. What he should have done was figure out how much money he would have had if the total amount contributed by him and his employers had been put into a good investment instead of sent to the government. He would have found a different result. He also claims that Social Security is welfare, not insurance payments. This program was sold to the public by politicians as insurance.

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If the author feels guilty about accepting Social Security benefits, why did he apply for them in the first place? Uncle Sam doesn't send the check unless you ask for it. If his guilt pangs occurred after the fact, there is a simple solution; he could send the money back. William Roberts, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published, subject to condensation, and none acknowledged. Please address them to "Readers Write," One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115.

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