Thursday, January 11, 2007
13 reason we need to rethink social security and medicare (maybe our health system in general)
I was reading this article online and decided to comment on it for my 13 today. Check it out! http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16562633/site/newsweek/
Let's just say I have decided to get edgy. I have no idea what the right answer is, but the course we are on now is leading into a tunnel with no exit!
"Our children will not be so blind to this hypocrisy. We have managed to take successful programs—Social Security and Medicare—and turn them into huge problems by our self-centered inattention. Baby boomers seem eager to "reinvent retirement" in all ways except those that might threaten their pocketbooks." From the Newsweek article
13 Reasons why I think Social Security and Medicare Need to be re-thought.
1. When Social Security was designed the average life expectancy for a man in the US was 65. MMMM, shocking that that was the retirement age! Now that is not the case and since women are out living men and working, is this retirement age really realistic? How long should people have to work? Does a one size fits all retirement age even make sense?
2. The Medicare Part D is way - I mean way too complicated. My husband and I spent weeks helping his mother select a plan and it was tough for us and we are pretty savvy folk. Flat out Medicare Part D is not helpful, it cost the seniors money and is so complex, it takes an attorney to wade thru the red tape. I think the only beneficiaries are the Insurance companies and the drug companies. Either cover the drugs or don't. Donuts holes are for snacking.
3. Personal Responsibility. Another post all together but - seriously. We have to take care of ourselves to the extent that we are able. Social Security should be a safety net and not the only source of retirement income. Sadly - the Baby Boomers missed that clause. Social Security was designed to aid those retirees whose companies went belly up - ala Enron and took their pensions with them. As a nation we are not good at saving money. Gen-Xs - go start a savings account, cut up the plastic and max out your 401K. NOW!
4. I do not care which side of the aisle you feel most comfortable sitting on - but we need to think about what we really want our government to do. Should it be BIG BROTHER and Super MOM or should it provide the basics, a frame work if you will and let us do the rest. This really needs to be decided - before either program will be fixed to anyone satisfaction.
5. As with the tax code - -Uncle Sam, LESS IS MORE!
6. Do we really want to further complicate matters by allowing for market investment. Does anyone remember the Tech Bubble????? How about the PETS.COM sock puppet. MMMM, I think CDs might be best after all!
7. We all like to complain about the tax section of our paychecks - but did you realize that in most cases the largest deductions are for social security and medicare? They can cut your Fed tax all they want - you are still paying upwards of 10% of your annual wage into a program that in 30 years likely will not be there. (And why are Gen-Xer's not rioting in the streets about this????)
8. Honestly - a coffee can might be safer.
9. Kramer is on national TV, we know him, we can agree or disagree with his investment ideas. Who exactly is running the "TRUST FUND"? Do we even know! IS it on the website. What happened to full disclosure?
10. What is the retirement program like for US Senators, Representatives, and the President. MMM, can I get in on that. I paid for it. Granted - they did give up much of their privacy for a time period - but is it really worth all of that??? How much is their drug coverage in retirement???
11. National health care from birth to death. The basics mind you. Might be better than alternative. (A big Donut hole if we are not careful.)
12. Your parents can always just move in with you - you're ok with that - right??? Because that is where any of us are heading. Once our parents - who likely have not saved enough - cannot work any longer or are too sick to make it to the golden 65-68 age bracket - what then???
13. Does anyone really even care??? We are so far from 65!