Saturday, December 17, 2005

1905 My children will need to live

another 26 years after retiring to get back from Social Security what they've put in during their working years. That's assuming that the Baby Boomers haven't bankrupt the country with their retirement and health care costs first. At this point, I'm just hoping they outlive me! One is a smoker and the other is dangerously close to being a diabetic. I have outlived my two oldest, and frankly do not have the strength to go through that again. My children will turn retirement age about 100 years after Social Security first began. They graduated from high school about 20 years ago, and I don't know if they learned anything about the Depression or all the programs FDR put into place that helped in the short run, but messed up the economy in the long run.

My maternal grandparents were probably not eligible for SS since they were self-employed farmers, but my paternal grandparents who were a generation younger made out like bandits because they moved from the farm to town and grandpa worked at a printing plant in his later years. In the early years of Social Security there were 40 workers to support each retiree. Actually, getting people out of the workforce was one of the reasons for SS--we had very high unemployment when this plan was devised. Today there are only 3.2 workers for each retiree, and by the time my children retire, the baby boomers will still be clogging the nursing homes and senior centers and medical facilities. Yes, the first boomer was born about 60 years ago, and they have skewed every educational, social, cultural and medical event in this country since.

Today a low income worker needs 11.8 years to get back all his and his employer's social security taxes in benefits; a middle income worker needs 17.5 years, and a high-income worker needs 24.9 years. By the time my children retire they'll need to live an additional 25.6 years (I'm assuming they'll be middle income based on where they are now) to get back in benefits was they've put in.

In 1935 there was a Clark Amendment that would have allowed a private plan option but FDR defeated it. President Bush's plan is really not unlike what many of us already have, since no one should expect to live on Social Security, nor does it keep anyone out of poverty by itself.

Mothers worry. Let's face it. It's in our job description. And I'm extremely unhappy that the Republicans have let us down by essentially defeating Bush's Social Security reform and putting it on the back burner. I don't even pay attention to those Democrats with their running noses and pasty faces pressed up against the window. They will not like any plan that gives Bush credit for saving Social Security. It's the Republicans who should have pushed for this and gotten the job done. They are to blame.


ljmcinnis said...

I agree Norma. Since our representatives in Congress do not contribute to Social Security and are enjoying the full benefits of "private" accounts, they have little interest in pursuing changes.
I was briefly cheered by a group of college students educating their peers about the perils of the unsustainable current Social Security system.
More here.

ljmcinnis said...

Sorry bad link.
Try this or Secure Our Future.

iso 9000 said...

Hey, very nice site. I came across this on Google, and I am stoked that I did. I will definately be coming back here more often. Wish I could add to the conversation and bring a bit more to the table, but am just taking in as much info as I can at the moment.
iso 9000`