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>> Of course, means testing will be the death-knell of SS. People will realise that they pay 15% of their salary into SS and will get means-tested out of receiving anything when they retire, and revolt. (OF course, young people already know that SS won;t be there for them when they retire. Making it explicit by assing meas-testing will kill it.) <<

It depends. Almost all the means testing we've done so far is based on income, not total assets or net worth. For the last few years I've been increasingly "engineering" our personal finances to maximize our ability to retire with fairly high net worth and modest taxable income. If the increasing trend of means-testing goodies continues to focus on income, I'm pretty sure we could get by pretty well on $50K annual income or less, especially if that gives me heavily means-tested health care subsidies that I'd start losing rapidly with higher income. And some of that will be non-taxable return of capital and Roth investment withdrawals.

It feels a little dirty, but my only choices seem to be to have the system give me a raw deal or for me to exploit the system. And if those are the only options, then I plan to exploit the system.

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