The recently announced 0.3% COLA for Social Security has again triggered calls for higher benefits, for more money for our seniors, we are entitled is the rallying cry.
Why do we seniors deserve more and who do we expect to pay for it?The calls for higher benefits are frequently based on inaccurate information. Many, perhaps most, Americans and especially seniors do not understand how SS works and often simply reject the facts. This is clearly evident from these sample Facebook posts.
According to a AARP article, about 1 in 3 elderly Social Security recipients relies on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income and, on average, more than half rely on it for 50 percent or more of their income.
This is sad and really sad. What happened since 1935 when the new Social Security insurance program was supposed to provide a minimum degree of security? Well for many people it appears that’s what it does. Social Security fulfilled its promise but in too many cases, workers did not accept their responsibility.
There are three basic problems we face (1) assuring that Social Security is not only solvent but sustainable, (2) coping with the cries for higher benefits for existing beneficiaries and (3) determining the right goals for Social Security for younger generations (who do not have pensions even at the modest level of current seniors, are not savers and who in many cases will have dependent children in college as they reach traditional retirement age).
While politicians call for higher contributions from the so-called wealthy we also expect millennials to save more for their future. Higher income Americans cannot accomplish all three of the above goals alone.How much more are we willing to take from the working generations to give to those now collecting Social Security? What are the consequences of this kind of income shift?
We can’t focus on the seniors of today at the expense of younger Americans who will face even more difficult retirement challenges in the future.
Duly noting the unfortunate exceptions, after living ones life as you see fit for 40-45 years, why are you entitled to anything more from society, especially the younger Americans still making their way? It is unrealistic to ignore the consequences of taking from one generation to give to another.
Many of the comments from seniors suggest that “unnecessary” federal spending be redirected to them in the form of higher COLAs because they earned it. What about all the needs of the rest of society that wants a chance to reach retirement in a reasonable financial state?Seniors should keep a few things in mind.
🤔 you had your shot at life and planning for retirement 🤔 nobody stole any Social Security money and you are not going to lose your benefits 🤔 you did not pay for all your benefits and certainly not COLAs 🤔 you get back all the Social Security taxes you paid over your working life in a few years following the start of your benefits, even quicker if a non-working spouse also collects benefits🤔 the Social Security trust investments in Treasury bonds earn billions of dollars in interest each year that is currently used to pay benefits.
Full disclosure; I am 73 years old and have collected SS since I was 66. My wife and I have collected in benefits every penny contributed in payroll tauxes. I am more fortunate than most. I also have a pension and during more than fifty years of working I traded a lot of “want” spending for savings. I am also fortunate not to have experienced any significant events in life beyond my control that could destroy fiscal security.
Categories: Social Security