Sixty-five is the magic age, the age when most people can retire. But they don't retire, just resting on their own laurels. From the moment they turn 65 retirees can start drawing on their Social Security.
This is absurd.
I realize that Social Security may be one of the most volatile and important political issues right now, and that there's a very heated debate surrounding it. I just don't get what all the fuss is about.
There's a fairly simple and extremely logical solution that will fix Social Security, which is now running deficits.
My plans starts with a simple question: Why are we still letting people retire and get social security benefits at 65?
Sure, that was great back in 1940 when the social security checks started being mailed out every month, but is anyone actually going to suggest that we should still let people get social security when they're only 65?
Here are the hard, indisputable numbers. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, in 1940, when the Social Security checks were first mailed, the average life expectancy was less than 64 years. This means that your average Joe wasn't drawing on social security, because he didn't live to be 65.
Fast forward 71 years. The latest statistics show that today's life expectancy is 78 years. On average, a 65-year-old today will live for 18.6 years on Social Security.
That means we're paying for two decades of Social Security for the average retiree. This is nonsensical.
My suggestion is simple and effective. Sixty-five-year-olds will be able to retire on Social Security now. Sixty-four-year-olds would have to wait until they're 66; 63-year-olds couldn't retire until they're 67. Continue the graduated retirement age on down the line until you get to fifty-year-olds, who wouldn't be able to receive Social Security until they're 80, which is about the life expectancy right now.
Of course, in 30 years, when all of the 50-year-olds turn 80, the life expectancy will be even higher, so we'll have to continue to raise the retirement age.
By the time I start thinking about retiring, the Social Security cutoff will probably be near 90-years-old. If I get my way on this plan, I'll have to keep working until I'm nearly a century old. And I look forward to it.
I know a lot of people who are close to retirement will hate this idea, because it will make them work longer than they would have otherwise. But really, what's there to be mad about? All I'm asking is that they produce for several more years than they would have otherwise. Is that such a radical demand?
I'm tired of people, who are soon to be eligible for retiring with Social Security, griping when politicians try to find a solution to fix our nation's debt problem by raising the retirement age for Social Security.
They may not think it's right or fair to make them retire later than their predecessors. But I don't care what people think is right or fair regarding their Social Security. What "right" means to most people in this situation is more in their bank account compliments of other people.
Eventually we have to start putting our own wants aside, and get realistic, especially when we're dealing with a bankrupt program like Social Security and $14 trillion in national debt.
It would be a nice, rosy world if everyone could retire at 65, and live the rest of their lives without a financial worry, entirely dependent on Social Security.
But that's not a reality that we can afford to live out. We are bankrupt. And outside of ending Social Security completely - which I'm a fan of, by the way - retiring a few years later than you expected may be the only way to fix the problem.
Are you willing to work longer, so you, and those who come after you, can still get Social Security? On the issue of Social Security that's the trillion dollar question.
Don't get mad at me for my solution to the Social Security problem; get mad at the idiots who started Social Security in the first place.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)