80 is the New 65

Here’s an interesting news item:  ‘Census report: 80 is the new 65 when it comes to retirement, survey says’ reports Karin Matz of Reuters.

If only we could get Washington to take note.

Matz writes:

CHICAGO (Reuters) – When it comes to retirement, many middle class Americans said 80 is the new 65 and plan to delay retirement because of worries over money, according to a new survey…. Three-fourths of those surveyed said they expect to work in their retirement years. One quarter said they will “need to work until at least age 80” to live comfortably in retirement.

So reality is forcing many people to think in ways that we conservatives have been urging for decades. Because we have noted that that people are living longer and healthier lives and have urged that the Social Security system must adjust to that reality.

The socialists had knocked the retirement age down to as low as 53 in Greece, to 60 in France, and many public employees in America retire in their 50s. Police and firefighters in many cases retire after 20 years’ service, because of the danger of their jobs.

And as long as there was enough cash flowing in the economy to support all this including retiring at 65 in America, it worked. But today, with longer and longer lifespans, huge national debts and the money running out, we can no longer continue to fund the current system. Not even close.

The whole idea of retiring at 65 was established by Social Security legislation in 1937 and it came from Europe.

Yet when the first SS check was issued in 1940, the average American lifespan was only 63.6 years. So in other words, the official retirement age was 1.4 years longer than the average lifespan.

These figures expose the truth – that Social Security originally was established as an old age safety-net pension system and was not intended to fund retired people to live for 20 or 30 years as it does today.

And today the average lifespan is 78.2 years and people now are talking about “retiring” at 80, which is more in line with the original 1940 figures.

Throughout history and in many parts of the world today, people simply worked until they died because life was and is short and there was and is no wealthy welfare state to support them. So older people became very poor if they had no family or other support system. That is why the original SS system was created.

Today we have a new paradigm and increasing lifespans. There are expected to possibly be 9 million Americans older than 90 by 2050. That number is currently 1.9 million.

And it is going to cost a huge amount of money to care for these people. But the money is not there. Their health care no longer is going to be economically viable – never mind all the other costs like rent and food and transportation – and that 9 million figure probably will not be reached.

So indeed now it is time to raise the Social Security retirement age to 72. Just for starters. Because the system already is broke. Social Security in 2010 spent $577 billion but only took in $544 billion. And the situation is going to get worse and worse unless the retirement age is raised substantially.

The Democrats are fighting this idea every step of the way just as they have fought all reforms for SS and given steady increases for Social Security payouts even though the system has been “going broke” since the day it was started.

In other words, since 1940 SS payouts per person have been systematically shrinking while SS taxes have been systematically rising (they are 6.2 times the original tax after inflation is accounted for) while lifespans have been increasing.

It is unsustainable. And reform is inescapable now. And government employees must no longer be allowed to retire in their 50s. These union contracts must all be abridged, with states declaring official bankruptcy.

Look at this from retuers.com

‘On the issue of Social Security there was an age divide. Those in their 60s expect Social Security to provide 46 percent of their retirement funding. But more than a quarter of Americans in their 20s and 30s expect no income at all from Social Security during their retirement.’

Imagine that: People in their 20s and 30s expect to pay into SS for a lifetime but to get nothing out. This is horrible. This is another failed government program that just takes money from people. And your children and grandchildren are going to be deeply affected.

But the mantra for decades has been that “Social Security saved millions from poverty”.

Yes, certainly, just like the family fortune may prevent an ensuing generation from becoming poor. But if the fortune gets spent, the next generation gets zero. Which is what is happening in America today.

Because 77 million baby boomers already have paid massive amounts of their wealth into Social Security during their working lives, and that money is gone now. It already has been spent. And now those boomers are going to see smaller and smaller SS payouts because the money is no longer there to give them a decent return. In other words, they already have been screwed by SS and many don’t even know it yet. For the next generation it is going to be even worse.

Yes, just another “promise” from a government that never can keep its promises.

Which is why people should rely on themselves. And if they fail themselves, then they must suffer the consequences rather than forcing us all to do so.

Please visit my blog at www.nikitas3.com for more conservative insights.