One of my co-workers retired a few weeks ago. We had worked together for over 15 years and it was both exciting and sad to see her go. As the retirement luncheon ended and we had a final hug, I was thinking about my retirement and a big question.
What will social security look like when I retire?
Retirement Saving History
I know a lot of people say they don’t count on social security when planning for retirement. I understand that and would agree if I was just starting out.
When I joined the labor force in the 1970’s, the 401k or 403b didn’t exist. These began a decade later and weren’t common until the 90s. It was a transition time from defined pension plans to self-funded plans.
I started contributing as soon as the option became available, but by then I’d been working for 20 years. As a single mom I didn’t save nearly enough but I did contribute no matter what.
One constant payment for my future has been the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. My employers and I have have paid a nice percentage of my income into this account for decades. Now, you say I can’t count on it?
Politics and Social Security
I would guess since it’s inception, politicians have been tinkering with the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance(OASDI) program which we call Social Security. As the government struggles with an inflated budget and deficit, it’s being looked at as a entitlement program.
I can understand that to a degree. The original program has been amended to include a lot more programs and benefits than originally envisioned. However, workers have been contributing to this retirement plan for over 80 years and are due payment.
A recent campaign claim is that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. If you don’t look deep, it might seem that way. Since funding can be increased with tax revenues, it doesn’t meet the definition. But the true argument against that line of thinking is that it’s really an insurance plan.
Future of Social Security?
With only a decade to go until I can start collecting on my retirement contributions, the rhetoric makes me nervous. There are too many people who don’t look below the surface of what is being said.
I’m hoping there’s someone with a fair and reasonable idea on how to move forward with this program so it can be there for me and future generations. What do you think about Social Security?