He might be a stone-cold killervia no conscience, yet if Frank Undertimber were a real-life candiday for the presidency, I would vote for him.

You are watching: Frank underwood you are entitled to nothing

Frank Underwood is not a genuine perboy, of course. He’s the crooked politician shown by Kevin Spacey in the Netflix series House of Cards who claws his way into the White House by manipulating the push and also ruthlessly crushing anyone that could get in his way. But sadly, with one line, he yielded more honesty than I have actually seen from any president, senator or House representative, from either party, in my lifetime:

We’ve been crippled by Social Security. By Meditreatment. Medicaid. Welfare. And entitlements. And that is the root of the problem. Entitlements. Let me be clear: You are entitresulted in nothing.

Underwood then goes on to propose a ludicrous $500 billion make-occupational program for the unemployed, however we’ll overlook that for now. Instead, I want to emphasis on that last line: “You are entitled to nopoint.”

If you’re in or close to retirement, those words are going to rub you the wrong means. But that doesn’t mean that they’re not true. Social Security and Meditreatment are not “rights” in any kind of sort of legal sense. Congress decides on the payout, and also Congress deserve to change it—or eliminate it— at any kind of time. You really are not “entitled” to anything and certainly not guaranteed.

But that’s not the message we gain from our leaders. Instead, they make guarantees that they recognize deserve to never before be retained, but they carry out so understanding that they will certainly not be up for reelection—or possible also still alive—once they need to be broken.

You are entitled to nothing. It’s not fun to hear, however it’s necessary to keep it in mind when doing your retirement planning. You should go forward via the presumption that your benefits in retirement will be lower than currently promised…and possibly much lower.

Here are some certain referrals on how to technique your planning:

Focus on earnings rather that the “magic number.” Most financial planning centers about amassing a nest egg of a specific dimension, yet this is entirely backwards because it doesn’t take market returns into account. A million-dollar bond portfolio would certainly have actually passist about $40,000 ten years earlier. Today, it would pay about $22,000. So aget, emphasis on the revenue being thrown off quite than a particular net worth number. Consider investments you could have never thought about before. With the stock industry priced to supply lousy returns over the next decade—and yielding a pitiful 1.8% in dividends—investments like wanted stock and also closed-finish bond funds can great earnings producers if bought at a great price.

Just take President Underwood’s words to heart—you are entitcaused nothing—and set about planning as necessary.

This item first appeared on Economy & Markets.

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Charles Lewis Sizemore, CFA, is chief investment officer of the investment firm Sizemore Capital Management and the author of theSizemore Insightsblog.