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  • Saving the Future for a Longer Life

    In the past 30 years, U.S. life expectancy has increased by an average of five years. Since 1935, when Social Security was first enacted, it has increased by almost 18 years. It’s no wonder that Americans are working more years as they enjoy longer, healthier lives thanks to improved healthcare and technology.

    Unfortunately, the federal government hasn’t altered its plans to match the growing number of entitlement beneficiaries hitting their 80s and 90s. The default payment methods definitive of many entitlement programs are hurting America’s economy and pushing the United States deeper into a debt that already tops $14.3 trillion. Reform is required.

    Social Security, Medicare and other social entitlement programs were created as safety nets for the elderly, those down on their luck or those experiencing overbearing unexpected financial hardship. Today, such programs are utilized by nearly everyone, and money is running low for those on the early side of 50.

    Not only do these programs eat up roughly 50% of our federal budget, but the entitlement culture discourages savings and creates the false notion that government should be taking care of individuals. The reality that Social Security and Medicare will not exist in current form for many young adults has yet to sink in for lawmakers or the young people affected.

    The Heritage Saving the American Dream plan reminds:

    The underlying problem that it addresses is simple: The government is doing things it should not be doing and spending far more than we can afford to pay or should be paying. It is time to start moving decisively toward a federal government that is limited and carries out its appropriate function.

    According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s latest study, working significantly longer may be the only real option for folks to have enough money to survive in older age. While working longer is a natural side effect of living longer, it should not be forced to the extreme because of poor decisions being made by today’s legislators.

    Reforming America’s entitlement programs today, as laid out in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan, is essential if we want any of these programs to be available tomorrow. It’s certainly beneficial for workers to plan on delaying retirement by several years, thanks to today’s longer life spans. This provides the opportunity for people to support themselves and save extra money so they can rely less on the government later.

    An article at MarketWatch reports:

    Americans who work past age 65 who continue to save for retirement in a 401(k) or some such account earmarked for retirement increase the odds of having enough income in their golden years. ‘One of the factors that makes a major difference in the percentage of households satisfying the retirement income adequacy thresholds at any retirement age is whether the worker is still participating in a defined contribution plan after age 65,’ the co-authors of the report. ‘This factor results in at least a 10 percentage point difference in the majority of the retirement age/income combinations investigated.’

    The fact is that America’s budgetary needs are changing according to a changing culture and a longer life span. As Americans live and work longer, the government must  reform the entitlement system in tandem to ensure its viability for those who need it later. These programs can become more sustainable, but their open-ended benefits must be reined in now in order to make that happen.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Saving the Future for a Longer Life

    1. Alpha Papa says:

      Ms Anderson … Social Security is not an entitlement… when a person pays into a system it ceases to be an entitlement… Next stop the blame game.. .the rape of Social Security is bipartisan.

      SS was never intended to for disabled people, nor survivors benefits..nor was it intended to be started at age 62.

      You young people have no clue about it and really just talk out your butthole mostly .. do the research and stop the partisan politics.. I might be conservative but at least I know truths which you do not…

    2. Low Life Kriminal says:

      I'm trying to understand if anybody on this site understands what entitlement means it's something you've earned you have to pay in to recieve benefits it's not welfare it's my money and I want it NOW!! The proper role of government in a capitalist society is to protect the one who has the capital the default m.o. For the fed no matter what Matt and his friends tell you it's a fact when the programs go bankrupt so does the soul of America

    3. Marcus, Mt. Pleasant says:

      Why should anyone expect to retire on Social Security? Why don't we just save for our own? We don't have to work to age 85. We have to work until we have enough of our own money to live off of for the rest of our lives.

    4. John, Orlando says:

      "Social Security, Medicare and other social entitlement programs were created as safety nets for the elderly, those down on their luck or those experiencing overbearing unexpected financial hardship."

      Social Security is not just for those down on their luck. It is for all who have "contributed" for the required time period and its payments are primarily based on those "contributions" The program has been poorly managed and reform is needed. And I think the first step is to put trust back into the trust fund and invest that money just like private and state pension plans do.

      What would the surplus be if all of it had been prudently invested instead of "buying" treasury bonds?

    5. Lori Jordan Hicksvil says:

      If the government would keep their hands out of the social security maybe there would be plenty of money for those who payed into social security, and maybe if the Federal Government would stop spending money that this country don't have, and stop printing money to inflate the government, then maybe we wouldn't be in debit up to our ass, I think it's time for this country wake up and stand up united against this governments constant spending and take the yellow streak off our backs, we need to say no more spending no more touching our social security,as loud as we can so that our Federal government can hear us.

      My family lives on social security that my husband payed into for eighteen years on the job, now the government wants to cut medicare and this social security, I don't think so, the government needs to keep their hands off of what is not there's to spend then maybe there will be enough for the future and beyond,we the people of this country needs to stop them and stop them now, by voting out who doesn't want to do there jobs, I pray that enough people in this country will wake up in time to make sure that it will happen.

      I'm not just talking to hear myself I believe I'm talking in behave of anyone who is on social security or depends on it, who worked hard and payed into it for years maybe it's time for the government to take from the rich who do not need it and leave the poor who depend on it to pay their bills alone.

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