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Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:05 AM

Why shouldn't Social Security age be raised for future generations?

I understand and agree with the notion that SS, Medicare and the overall social safety net programs need to be protected. And with respect to a national health insurance program, those programs even need to be expanded. At the least, I think the "Medicare Option" is the next step.

But when it comes to retirement age, our society continues to live longer and longer. And the nature of our work, shifts to less less physically demanding roles. As such, there seems to be a legitimate discussion about retirement age (or the age you can start collecting SS).

Aside from the slippery slope argument, why should age be taken off the table for budget negotiations?

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Reply Why shouldn't Social Security age be raised for future generations? (Original post)
zaj Oct 2012 OP
DURHAM D Oct 2012 #1
SharonAnn Oct 2012 #144
hedgehog Oct 2012 #2
Liberal Veteran Oct 2012 #6
justabob Oct 2012 #16
obamanut2012 Oct 2012 #23
robinlynne Oct 2012 #25
KansDem Oct 2012 #38
hedgehog Oct 2012 #44
LiberalFighter Oct 2012 #80
Care Acutely Oct 2012 #66
K Gardner Oct 2012 #90
Horse with no Name Oct 2012 #114
riderinthestorm Oct 2012 #122
CTyankee Oct 2012 #92
Maine-ah Oct 2012 #121
antigop Oct 2012 #3
CBGLuthier Oct 2012 #4
Liberal Veteran Oct 2012 #11
peace13 Oct 2012 #5
arcane1 Oct 2012 #13
treestar Oct 2012 #7
mmonk Oct 2012 #8
zaj Oct 2012 #17
DURHAM D Oct 2012 #20
robinlynne Oct 2012 #26
OKNancy Oct 2012 #9
zaj Oct 2012 #27
nadinbrzezinski Oct 2012 #69
okasha Oct 2012 #130
randome Oct 2012 #10
zaj Oct 2012 #37
randome Oct 2012 #43
ieoeja Oct 2012 #87
nadinbrzezinski Oct 2012 #12
zaj Oct 2012 #29
DURHAM D Oct 2012 #41
hollysmom Oct 2012 #64
Live and Learn Oct 2012 #31
2pooped2pop Oct 2012 #60
HiPointDem Oct 2012 #14
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hay rick Oct 2012 #116
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ProSense Oct 2012 #15
SunSeeker Oct 2012 #24
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mythology Oct 2012 #136
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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:09 AM

1. Do you know what your current retirement age is?

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Response to DURHAM D (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:30 PM

144. More live to retirement age, but not really "longer"

More people are living to reach retirement (S.S.) age. In the past, many would've died before they reached that age.

Of those who reach that age, they are not really living longer. Many people now live into their 70's and even 80's.

There are, proportionally, about the same percentage of people living until there 90's and even a small percentage who live into their 100's.

But the top ages really haven't changed much.

Part of that is due to effective treatments for heart disease and high blood pressure.

So, a larger percentage may make it to retirement age but they're not going to live to be 100 or more years old.

It does not make sense to raise the retirement age so that people won't live long enough to reach it.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:10 AM

2. Because waitresses, hotel maids, janitors, nurses, etc still are

worn out at age 60. (I put nurses in there because even though they go to college, their work is physically demanding!)

Anyone who wants to raise the retirement age should spend a month scrubbing toilets and changing beds, then get back to us on that!

On edit : note that I said age 60, even though the retirement age is being raised even as we speak. I've seen people in these jobs who are ready to quit at 60, but who grit their teeth and go to work in pain each day until they can retire!

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:12 AM

6. +1

That pretty much sums it up. With more propensity to health conditions and a worn out body, raising the retirement age is basically saying "work until you are dead".

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:19 AM

16. this.... quality of life issues

You could include any number of jobs that are mentally/emotionally stressful professional jobs as well.... social work, teaching, various medicos, et al. There is also a need for elders to stop working in order to open up jobs for younger folks. I don't mean to say they should be pushed out at a certain age, but we do depend on a certain amount of turnover via retirement to keep others working.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:29 AM

23. +1

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:31 AM

25. Other countries retire at 60.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:37 AM

38. A DUer posted a few weeks ago about the prospect of "working to age 70"

It would be a lot easier for a lawyer than a coal miner...

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Response to KansDem (Reply #38)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:42 AM

44. My Mom was a nurse and she was ready to retire at 55 - she was really worn out

by the time she did retire at 65. My Dad was an engineer who ended up as a sales rep. He retired at about 79 or 80 - mainly so he could stay home and take car of my Mom. Optimal retirement ages are very dependent on a person's situation.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #38)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:04 PM

80. Too many think that it would be easy to work until 70 or so.

Basing it on their limited perspective on working conditions.

Wouldn't it be nice if they work in the same shoes as some that have hard and dirty jobs?

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:42 PM

66. I have been all of those, and a truck driver too!

I'm now a nurse in grad school so that I wont have to spend act III of my life tearing my body up the way I have been for the last 20 years.

It HURTS, and in most of those professions, the money to seek adequate medical care does not exist. The very idea of it belongs to someone else's life, not theirs. When I was in housekeeping at the hospital, all of my coworkers over 50 who had been there for more than a little while were broken by years of pushing those heavy carts over miles of carpeted hallway and all of the scrubbing, bending and lifting. They worked in incredible pain.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:36 PM

90. I'm an RN. I've done ER work for 30 years. I can't do it anymore and I am in GOOD SHAPE..

I'm currently looking to "downgrade" my specialty so I can continue to work to retirement age. Anyone who doesn't understand what 30 years of 12 hour shifts and backbreaking work, long hours, emotional stress, night shifts, not eating, etc etc etc, does to a body, has never "worked".

Raise the age my tired ass.

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Response to K Gardner (Reply #90)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:43 AM

114. Amen

I totally agree. I'm worn out now...I had to get more education to quit bedside nursing. I physically couldn't do it anymore.

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Response to K Gardner (Reply #90)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 11:34 AM

122. Farmer here. Same thing - 30+ years at this kind of labor, in good shape, but TIRED

I have no idea how many years I have left in me to do this, at this pace.

While I'm self-employed so I get to determine when I quit, I know that if I'm this tired and achy - others who work equally physical, stressful jobs with long hours and rare days off, must feel the same.

I plan to quit while I'm still relatively healthy. I really DON'T want to end my days crippled or debilitated.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:40 PM

92. We have a good friend, a plumber, who had worked on his knees for 38 years and just retired

at 62. Both knees shot. He had one fixed. His shoulder is shot from carrying heavy bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Lucky for him he's a unionized state employee and gets a good pension and has excellent health care. His eyes are shot from damage done to them when he was a welder before he went into plumbing.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 10:08 AM

121. lord, I've been waitressing for 17 years now...

I'm worn out, and almost 40.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:11 AM

3. Answer: How many companies employ people in their 60s? Where is it that you think people are going

to work in their 60s?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:12 AM

4. you really think poor people are living longer and longer?

You really want to work until you are too old and decrepit to do anything other than go home and die?

In my lifetime my own SS retirement age has been moved back four years.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #4)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:15 AM

11. Yes, and the people who work in physically demanding jobs...

...generally tend to be the same people that need social security to make ends meet since a lot of these jobs have little benefits and are not high paying.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:12 AM

5. Why do some people pay SS tax on 100% of their salary..

while wealthy people pay the tax on only a percentage of income? Although, you may be on to something, if we push the SS age back far enough most will be dead before they collect. Also, while I don't have a link there have been reports that life expectancy is decreasing now. Without health care I think we can expect that to continue.

Remember that SS is not in trouble. The trouble is that the politicians raid the bank.

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Response to peace13 (Reply #5)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:18 AM

13. "The trouble is that the politicians raid the bank"

Exactly! This important fact seems to go unsaid far too often in Social Security debates.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:13 AM

7. It could be considered

I think 65 was chosen because that's an age where people died soon after. They didn't account for people living much longer. The average age is going to go up generally, so it makes sense to raise the age every now and then.

People in their 60s were "old" in the 30s. Now they are barely above middle age. You have to hit 80 to be "old."

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:13 AM

8. Why should it?

How long do you want people laid off in their 50's to wait? What economic benefit is derived from changing it?

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Response to mmonk (Reply #8)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:20 AM

17. It should only be modified based on facts...

... such as economic solvency of the program. Which is a function of money paid in and money paid out. And the longer someone lives past the retirement age, the more money is needed in the pool to pay out for those additional years.

We want the program to stay solvent. Not be manged similar to the postal pension funds where the framework was set such that it would inevitably collapse. So in my mind, Democrats need to be more focused on the math (for good and bad) and not just the benefits ... than the Republicans are.

Otherwise they will slip in some policy change that will lead to the insolvency of the system, and once that happens, the program will get removed. Raising the age needs to be part of the math function that Dems watch like a hawk.

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Response to zaj (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:25 AM

20. You did not answer my question.

What is your full retirement age?

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Response to zaj (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:32 AM

26. why not raise taxes on the wealthy to put more money into the program?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:13 AM

9. The people who most depend on social security ARE THE ONES who work hard

at physical jobs. Carpenters, plumbers, painters, landscapers... on down to less skilled work. They can't work until they are 70.
It's bad enough since most of the above jobs don't have employer paid/helped health insurance. Hopefully Obamacare will make private insurance more affordable for these type workers.

My husband is a house painter. Now, he does remodels and "high-class" work, but there is no way he could go past age 66. Even now, at age 59, his knees and body are about shot. He is 6'1, 155-160 lbs, and otherwise very fit.

It's all well and good to care about the office worker, etc... but there are still many, many people who would suffer horribly if the retirement age was raised.


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Response to OKNancy (Reply #9)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:32 AM

27. I respect that, but...

But it seems to me that the system needs (and in a sense has) an exception that allows for flexibility around the nature of the job. You can't really say "these jobs get to retire early and those don't", but you can provide a physical capability exception... which we already do... it's disability.

Now perhaps the framing of it should be revised to "inability" or something less stigmatized. But in broad terms, it seems like a higher retirement age that fits both the math of the system and the reality of life expectancy for future generations is needed.

I just think that if Dems set themselves up to see ANY changes to SS as a devastating loss... in the same way that happened when ObamaCare looked more like RomneyCare than HillaryCare ... we are creating a sort of circular firing squad that cost us the 2010 elections.

That would be bad for the full arc of Obama's presidency.

We need to see the intermediate steps that are being taken in support of progressive policy goals for the value that they bring rather than the devastation of the loss of the grad goal we hope for.

I guess we need to embrace our own slippery slope where the slope points to progressive policy.

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Response to zaj (Reply #27)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:55 PM

69. Two points

1.- It is not in trouble, that is a nice republican talking point.

2.- Don't raise the retirement age, in fact lower it. GET RID OF THE CONTRIBUTION CAP.

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Response to zaj (Reply #27)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:20 PM

130. The security of elders and older workers

is a damn sight more important than what's good for "the full arc of Obama's presidency."

And what is your own retirement age, by the way?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:14 AM

10. Because we should be trying to improve our standard of living, not keeping it the same.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:37 AM

37. That's an interesting assumption..

... I'm not sure that I agree with or see as realistic.

Particularly if trying to improve our standard of living in this context means always trying to reduce the retirement age. Which seems implied by your suggestion as it's made in response to the context of my post.

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Response to zaj (Reply #37)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:42 AM

43. Well, there are arguments below about reducing the age to 55.

But even if we simply accept that, in general, our life spans have increased, we should keep the retirement age the same, which would be the same as an improvement in standard of living.

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Response to zaj (Reply #37)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:30 PM

87. I agree with the other poster whole heartedly.


You noted in the OP that most jobs are easier because of technology advancements and argue that makes it "possible" for most people to work longer.

But that same advancement in technology also makes it "possible" for people to retire earlier. We "need" fewer people working less hours to provide life's basic necessities for everyone. As long as we choose to ignore real need for work as opposed to artificial need for work, we are not addressing the real issue.


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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:17 AM

12. Actually check your numbers

no it does not,

Our longevity is actually going backwards, especially if you are poor.

Here you go

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2012_09/shocker_stat_of_the_day_life_e040058.php

Consider that a leading indicator.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:33 AM

29. Fair enough...

The system should follow the numbers either way they go.

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Response to zaj (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:38 AM

41. Do you know anything about current policy or

are you just trying to start an argument?

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Response to zaj (Reply #29)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:35 PM

64. you have to understand the numbers before saying that

Many times the raise in average age does not mean people are living longer but that infant mortality ha been lowered - average is average for a reason. Even median age can be misleading., Now if you took people's average life expectancy from age 20 you might have a better argument.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:34 AM

31. +1 nt

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #12)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:22 PM

60. thanks

I thought I had seen something on here to that effect and was having trouble finding it.

thanks again.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:18 AM

14. First, because life expectancy is actually stagnant or decreasing for a significant fraction of

 

americans.


Life Expectancy Stagnating, Decreasing Over Much Of U.S.

A study done by the University of Washington found that life expectancy has been stagnant for much of the country and is actually decreasing over much of the Southern portion of the United States. Obesity, poorly controlled blood pressure and a shortage of primary-care physicians are cited as potential factors. The U.S. now ranks behind most industrialized nations, falling to 37th world-wide. Jennifer Kalaidis

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2011/06/15/246316/life-expectancy-stagnating-decreasing-over-much-of-u-s/?mobile=nc

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/life-expectancy-in-the-us-varies-widely-by-region-and-in-some-places-is-decreasing/2011/06/13/AGdHuZVH_story.html?fb_ref=NetworkNews&fb_source=home_multiline

The average life expectancy for white Americans with only a high school education has fallen precipitously since 1990. It fell five years to 73.5 years for women and three years (for men) to 67.5. College educated women have a life expectancy of 80.9, a full decade past their less-educated counterparts. College educated men live 80.4 years, nearly thirteen years longer then high school educated white men.

http://data360.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/life-expectancy-for-white-americans-without-a-college-degree-decreasing/

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:27 AM

21. +1

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:35 AM

32. +2 nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 01:03 AM

116. Thanks for the links.

I have been expecting this to happen based on increased medical costs and declining median wages.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #14)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 11:49 AM

123. ^ this

The only relevant determinant of lifespan is money.

Also, there is a surplus of labor. Everything we do to make that surplus bigger hurts us all.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:18 AM

15. ACTUALLY, THE RETIREMENT AGE IS TOO HIGH

Unconventional Wisdom

A special anniversary report challenging the world's most dangerous thinking.

James K. Galbraith
ACTUALLY, THE RETIREMENT AGE IS TOO HIGH

The most dangerous conventional wisdom in the world today is the idea that with an older population, people must work longer and retire with less.

<...>

Third, we don't need the workers. Productivity gains and cheap imports mean that we can and do enjoy far more farm and factory goods than our forebears, with much less effort. Only a small fraction of today's workers make things. Our problem is finding worthwhile work for people to do, not finding workers to produce the goods we consume.

In the United States, the financial crisis has left the country with 11 million fewer jobs than Americans need now. No matter how aggressive the policy, we are not going to find 11 million new jobs soon. So common sense suggests we should make some decisions about who should have the first crack: older people, who have already worked three or four decades at hard jobs? Or younger people, many just out of school, with fresh skills and ambitions?

The answer is obvious. Older people who would like to retire and would do so if they could afford it should get some help. The right step is to reduce, not increase, the full-benefits retirement age. As a rough cut, why not enact a three-year window during which the age for receiving full Social Security benefits would drop to 62 -- providing a voluntary, one-time, grab-it-now bonus for leaving work? Let them go home! With a secure pension and medical care, they will be happier. Young people who need work will be happier. And there will also be more jobs. With pension security, older people will consume services until the end of their lives. They will become, each and every one, an employer.

A proposal like this could transform a miserable jobs picture into a tolerable one, at a single stroke.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/01/02/unconventional_wisdom?page=0,7

Lower Social Security Eligibility to 55; Raise Benefits By 15%
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021104200


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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:30 AM

24. Exactly! nt

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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:37 AM

36. Yes. The young need the jobs

and the retired support our service economy.

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Response to ProSense (Reply #15)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:12 PM

136. But where does the money come from?

You aren't changing the number of people who are paying into social security and you're adding 10 years worth of additional people taking money out of the pot. The article doesn't address the mathematical issue that arises from lowering the age to 55.

Simply raising the social security cap, which is the usual response leads to the issue of potentially decreasing support for social security. Currently people who make exactly the max and people who make well over the social security cap pay in the same amount and get out the same amount. If you raise the cap, but don't raise the pay out, you risk losing the broad popular support Social Security enjoys. For an example of this, look at the difference in popularity between Social Security and welfare.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:21 AM

18. Because rising life expectancy is already factored into Social Security

Nothing is happening that wasn't planned for.

The bipartisan "Social Security crisis" is every bit as cooked up as the bipartisan "Iraq has WMD crisis". It's based on projections that our economy will be terrible for the next 25 years. If the economy is anything near where it was for the last 70 years, there is zero problem.

This "crisis" is just a scheme to steal the $2.6 trillion in Social Security's bank account to use as a gift to billionaires. Please don't fall for it.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:21 AM

19. Because we should be improving

And increasing benefits, not decreasing them, and while we might be living longer employment opportunities for people in their 60's are pretty bleak.

Just say no to austerity.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #19)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:23 AM

111. For that matter,

employment opportunities for people in their *50's* are pretty bleak, too.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:27 AM

22. Because it will raise unemployment and misery.

Lift the SS tax cap and let people retire, opening up jobs for the next generation.

France is actually lowering their retirement age.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57448389/france-to-lower-retirement-age-to-60-for-some/


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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:33 AM

28. I think it should be lowered

I also think wealthy people's Social Security should be kept in "the pot."

Doing that, and having a single-payer healthcare system, would allow people to retire young enough, and healthy enough, to actually have a retirement.

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:38 AM

40. And a big plus to you.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #40)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:21 PM

99. .....

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Response to obamanut2012 (Reply #28)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:47 PM

76. It should be lowered and the CAP on wages should be eliminated.

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Response to Vincardog (Reply #76)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:22 PM

100. +1

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:34 AM

30. Wrong

 

"our society continues to live longer and longer"

Failed neoliberal policies (union busting to bust wages, growing debt until it becomes unbearable, austerity to bailout failed banks etc.) lead to failed states and dismantling social security networks -> mortality rising and average life time shortening e.g. by 10-15 years as we see now in Greece.

With mass unemployment lengthening the duration of work period means just creating additional work force to compete for what "job creators" (capitalist slavers) want to pay less and less for. If better quality of life was issue and what government was aiming for, more equal division of work would be priority instead of longer careers and competing in the race to the bottom. E.g. 6 hour work day, longer vacations, sabbaticals.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:35 AM

33. How about people working in factories, doing physical labor, or high-risk jobs?

They should do this until 70? No I think the ages for Medicare and SS should be the same -- 65. As it is now, I can access Medicare before I'm eligible for SS. That's crazy, IMO.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:35 AM

34. I can actually think of a couple of reasons.

First, there is massive age discrimination in the US. When someone loses a good job in their late 50s or early 60s it is nearly impossible to find another. What do those folks do until they reach the higher retirement age? Second, not everyone has a white collar job. It is a lot harder to be a steamfitter, mechanic, iron worker or garbage collector in your 60s than it is to be an office worker.What do these folks do when their bodies will no longer do the jobs they've done ll their lives?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:36 AM

35. If we don't raise the retirement age, how else can we make it pay for itself long-term?


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Response to reformist2 (Reply #35)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:45 AM

46. Lift the freaking SS tax (FICA) cap!

It makes no sense that the ss tax only applies only to the first $110K in wages.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/06/13/1099753/-Rather-Than-Slashing-Social-Security-How-About-Lifting-the-Cap

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #35)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:47 AM

47. Raise the cap.

Not the retirement age. Instead of 107k, how about 500k or removing it completely?

Problem solved.

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #35)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:21 PM

59. I'm OK with that, but it does change SS from an insurance plan to a hybrid insurer/welfare program.

I have to admit, I like the idea of SS as it is now - the middle and lower classes taking care of each other, with no help from the rich!

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Response to reformist2 (Reply #59)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:49 PM

67. Sorry to break it to you but

S.S. is already a hybrid insurer/welfare system for those between about $50K-$105K (the cap). That comes about primarily by how the benefits are calculated (15% of that income goes into the formula versus the prior two steps of 90% and 32%). Until folks understand this you can't sell removing the cap.

My argument is that the cap should be removed, but those funds taxed at a lower percentage level (so they don't go into the formula for calculating benefits but they step up to the plate as a percentage of that income like those immediately below the c ap). Right now the system is structured on the backs of those making $50 to $105K.

You might like the idea of the poor and middle supporting the whole system, but I sure would like some help from those making over $105K.

One thing we should keep in mind is not handcuffing our children with higher withholding rates than those which currently exist. I would like a stake in the ground on that policy (including asking current and near term retirees to step up to the plate if necessary).

67 is plenty old as an engineer already. I don't see my self going to to 70 or 75. I am not even sure I will be able to hold onto 67 (I am 49 now).

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:37 AM

39. I'd like to see the age dropped to 55.

Everyone, no matter how much they earn (particularly those making over $100K) should have to pay into the Social Security fund.

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Response to GoneOffShore (Reply #39)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:53 PM

68. After removal of the cap

how much should your children/grandchildren withhold from their income to allow retirement at 55? I think removing the cap will just be enough to keep the system as it is currently defined. 55 would require a massive new infusion of funds.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:40 AM

42. Because for many people, their work is physically demanding

and after a certain age they just can't do it any more. If you do anything that requires you to be on your feet for much of the day, or do a lot of lifting, your knees and back are probably going to be in tough shape by the time you hit 65 or so, probably even sooner. And at that age how is someone who has been a construction worker all his life going to get a desk job? While it's true that people are living longer, the physical limitations of the human body after decades of hard work haven't changed much. For some people the SS retirement age is already too high.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:44 AM

45. the cap should be raised, not the age. Retirement opens jobs for the young

people need their ss to retire. No one should be forced to risk their future in the market, and it is no burden on the wealthy to pay ss on all their income, including capital gains.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:50 AM

48. It's strange to me...

...here we are in a modern age, with the ability to provide for everyone with less work than ever before, with paying work disappearing before our very eyes, yet the hue and cry is to force more people to work longer.

What we need to do is reset the minimum wage to something reasonable, develop sustainable systems rather than forced-continuous-growth systems, and set the retirement age lower so people can retire and have some time to enjoy their leisure time.

Oh, I know: dream on. It's against the Calvinist philosophy, which would rather see people worked to the bone until they are old and decrepit. But to what end, I ask you? When are we going to look around and see what is possible, rather than working under the same tired old systems that got us into the current mess in the first place?

We can do better, and we absolutely do not need to have people work until they are 70. We can raise the salary cap on contributions, among other things, and wipe out the SS deficit in one fell swoop. It isn't hard to grasp conceptually, but the politicians don't want to bite the hands that feed them -- namely the rich and the super-rich, who don't want to contribute their fair share and would rather see the rest of us toil and slave until we fall over dead.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:54 AM

49. Well wait until you're about 60 and see how enthusiastic you are about raising the retirement age.

I guarantee you'll feel differently.

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Response to Ganja Ninja (Reply #49)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:26 PM

101. +100 n/t

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:56 AM

50. "the nature of our work"

whose work are you referring to, pray tell? not everyone has the luxury of a desk job, or even prefers or wants one, for that matter.

the age of SS should be dropped rather than raised!

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:00 PM

51. Because there's more to life than work...

 

And as a 24 year old... if the retirement age is raised for me, I will fight for the right to opt out and invest that extra money.

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #51)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:01 PM

53. So you want to privatize SS?

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Response to Comrade_McKenzie (Reply #51)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:02 PM

71. Nearly every reasonably compensated individual

has wanted to opt out at a young age. Unless you are a school teacher in California or some other jobs like that, you don't have the option to opt out (and that opt out is a much better deal for the state of California than it is for the school teachers). For most well compensated individuals, it is a bad deal (but that is not the point).

I agree that the age should not be increased as a first resort. The cap should be removed first.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:01 PM

52. We live longer but longer life doesn't necessarily mean longer productive life

If people are kept alive longer because of heart and lung machines, dialysis machines, or wider availability of heart medication, for example, it doesn't mean that during those added years of life that someone can actually be productive. If you just have a few more years of life flat on your back in a nursing home, that's not productive life. If they can't walk, move, or think, then they can't be productive. My mother's neurologist says that 100% of the human race gets Alzheimer's disease if they live long enough. To date, science has not slowed down the aging process even by ten seconds. As you age, the telomeres get shorter, the oxidative stress destroying the cells proceeds unabated, and the glycosylation of proteins that affect every organ in the body keeps keeping on. Until science can understand that process and slow it and reverse it, humans will continue to age at the same rate as they always have.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:03 PM

54. life expectancy is falling for some groups. n/t

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:03 PM

55. what would you rather have?

What would you rather have? Older people employed or younger?
And you don't get to choose both - the number of jobs are dropping, age discrimination is real.

Raise the cap, lower the retirement age.


Yeah, I live in fantasy land....

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:06 PM

56. Other countries don't use age, but total number of years worked. It makes more sense

Laborers and blue-collar workers start work at an earlier age, and so should retire earlier than white-collar professionals who spent four years or more pursuing an education before entering the workforce.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:13 PM

57. Why shouldn't we raise the cap and make the better off contribute on 100% of their income??

The GOP and DLC refugee democrats always act as if reduction in benefites and raising the retirement age are the only options. They need to remove their heads from their asses as increase revenue from those who have higher incomes and take Social Security OFF the damn table.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:17 PM

58. I'm sorry, but...

The Third Way's attempts to soften Democrats on the idea of raising the retirement age, is not going to work. If the Third Way continues hitting us with this bullshit propaganda, you will see the Dem party fall apart, just as we're witnessing the GOP fall apart today. I know, "shared sacrifice" is the buzzword they use. I'd say the middle class seeing their assets diminish by 40% over the past 10 years is enough of a goddamned sacrifice.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:24 PM

61. "People live longer" is a fallacious argument

Yes, people are living longer, but they're also living longer with more illnesses. As we push out mortality, we increase morbidity.

Yeah, there may be a person who is running a marathon at 80, but for many people, even though they don't die, their bodies start to wear down.

In fact, people's bodies start turning on them in their mid 40s. I have several friends who are going through that right now, as they're realizing they are no longer 20-somethings and can no longer do the things they did when they were 20 years younger.

I turn 70 in a few weeks. I'm actually in pretty good health, eat properly, and get exercise -- but there's no way I could spend 8 or 9 hours a day on my feet, or do eight hours of construction work or heavy lifting. My last job was an office job and even with that, it was a hectic environment and I would come home dead tired at the end of the day.

The only ones who should make decisions about raising the retirement age are people over 60 who have done hard work all their lives -- not some 30-year-old snot in a government office who doesn't even make his own coffee.

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Response to nichomachus (Reply #61)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 07:17 PM

139. touche!

I couldn't agree more and said as much downthread after reading the OP.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:25 PM

62. I am gobsmacked that you could start such an asinine thread.

There is no way raising the retirement age will do any good for anyone. SS is funded by your earnings while you work, raise the cap to match the rise in income and inflation. Hell, pull the cap and let billionaires kick in their 15% If we did that we might be able to cut the contribution rate in half and still be better off.
Here's another idea, apply FDIC contributions to dividend payments. Why should income from investment be any different from labor?
Here's another aspect to the situation. If you raise the retirement age you keep more people in the labor force. What is the effect of that? Reduced wages for all.
I'm a tired old fart but very skilled in my trade. I quit working back in 2002 by choice. I was burned out and couldn't continue do deal with the business mentality that pervades every industry. I loved the work I did and it broke my heart to leave my customers in a lurch.
Today I'm 59 and even though I have worked to maintain my skills there is about a 10% chance that someone would hire me were I was looking for a job.
Whatever I do for an income from now on will be with my own business or in the underground economy.
A more effective plan would be to reduce the retirement age. People like me could use our skills to mentor and train our youngers in the skills that we spent decades to develop. That pittance of a SS payment would allow me to offer my time in training programs for even more hours that I regularly worked.
Do us all a favor and think a bit more seriously about subjects you want to discuss.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:28 PM

63. OK, let's start with YOUR cohort. Age 80 before you collect a dime of what you paid in.

I am guessing that you are younger than 30.

Get back to me after a life of labor to some ungrateful corporation wears out your body by age 55, and tell me that the retirement age should be higher than it already is.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #63)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:06 PM

81. Not just your body, but your mind.

I'm OUT at 60, money be damned. Comes a time where a person's just not going to want to get up at 5 AM or earlier to work for someone else for little to no rewards.

Plus, how are younger workers supposed to get started if I'm still sticking around?

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #81)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:54 PM

94. If I had the money, I'd retire now, too

Even though I'm self-employed, in this economic climate, where you have to take whatever work you can get, I'm doing an awful lot of work that I absolutely hate doing. "Boring" doesn't begin to cover it. However, if I took only the jobs that were interesting to me and took SS before my retirement age (66 for people my age), I wouldn't have enough to live on.

And my job isn't even physically demanding except when I have to do all nighters--which I can no longer do without ill effects.

I know people who have retired on disability, simply because their bodies are too shot to do physically demanding work, and yet they're too young for SS. I also know people who lost their jobs after age 50 and never worked again. They survived by selling their houses (in one case, the person had very little equity because she had bought the house only a few years before the massive layoff), receiving subsidies from friends or relatives, food stamps, and whatever part-time and temp jobs they could find. I'm just one person, and at last count, I know five people who are in this situation.

By the way, we have this Puritan obsession with work as an absolute virtue in itself, the more boring and disgusting it is, the more virtuous you are. Yet in some cases, your entirely legal job may actually harm society, such as if your job is trying to find a way around environmental regulations or rigging the stock market or figuring out how many people you can lay off and still operate your business. Someone who is retired and knits sweaters for the homeless or picks up litter in the neighborhood is doing more for society than any of the above.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #81)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:03 PM

96. Learn something new every day here.

I always figured piano players in whorehouses would get *off* work at 5 AM.













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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 12:41 PM

65. Because money grows on trees and you can always get someone young to pay more to support you.

 

So why should you sacrifice anything?

So you expect to receive more from the younger generations than you contributed...that's why we have kids. To support us and give us a comfortable retirement at the age we feel tired of working.

Oh and we need to make sure they provide us with unlimited medical services too even if we are brain dead with no hope of survival.

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Response to dkf (Reply #65)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:16 PM

84. A decent retirement income and adequate medical care is not too much to ask.

Our current system is, if anything, somewhat inadequate. Reducing benefits at a time when record wealth and income exists in the economy as a whole constitutes class warfare, in my opinion.

You make a good point about end of life issues, but politics makes it extremely hard to to much of anything about that.

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Response to dawg (Reply #84)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 04:21 PM

95. Do you believe you can count on and should depend on other people's wealth to provide

 

the lifestyle you want?

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Response to dkf (Reply #95)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 10:56 PM

109. It's MY freaking wealth. It came from the sweat of my brow.

The rich exploit the poor, hiring nannies, gardeners, maids all at pathetically low wages and no benefits. Then when they are too old to work, they dump them on the taxpayer to deal with the consequences of these ridiculously low wages. The SS tax cap must be completely lifted so that the rich pay to society what they are taking, rather than getting their cheap wage windfall by taking advantage of desperate poor people.

Corporations do the same thing with low wage workers. Fuck the blood sucking corporations and rich. Make them pay a living wage and full social security taxes.

Seriously, why are you here?

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Response to dkf (Reply #95)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 09:44 AM

117. The lifestyle I want?

No. The lifestyle I want requires much more income than a social security check will provide, and I'm happy to work in order to provide myself with those extras.

However, I don't think any American senior should be allowed to fall into poverty, and I believe everyone should be provided with essential medical care, regardless of their ability to pay.

I have gladly paid taxes all my working life to provide the current generation of seniors with a basic retirement income and health care. I don't feel remiss in expecting future generations to show me the same consideration.

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Response to dawg (Reply #117)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 01:13 PM

124. There were 6 others who helped provide for each person in the generation ahead of you.

 

There are two people who will share in the burden of taking care of you.

It takes a lot more from each individual to pay for you than it took for you to take care of your elders. That is the demographic problem with entitlements.

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Response to dkf (Reply #124)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:08 PM

125. Yes, but our GDP has increased massively over the last fifty years, even ...

on a real per-capita basis. We don't feel it in our daily lives because so much of the additional wealth has been allowed to pool at the top, but we are a very rich society that is fully capable of funding our modest retirement and health benefits without placing an undue hardship on anyone.

Prior generations were able to benefit from a rapidly growing population. We no longer have that advantage, and anyone with an ounce of foresight could have predicted that fifty years ago. But allowing seniors to retire with a modicum of dignity and health security is something we can still afford to do. We may have to tap additional revenue streams to continue to fund these programs, but we can do so easily.

Or perhaps it is more important to maintain the free world's lowest tax burden on the wealthy?

Personally, I'm not willing to allow seniors to suffer so I can afford a Lexus instead of a Honda.

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Response to dawg (Reply #125)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:46 PM

134. Social security tries to keep a link between payments and benefits.

 

Once that is lost it becomes another government program that can be cut like any other.

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Response to dkf (Reply #134)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 05:07 PM

135. It has always been a government program.

And every congress since enactment has had the power to cut it, just like any other program. That is why those of us who want a decent level of retirement security for our seniors need to be eternally vigilant.

There is no need to cut benefits. They aren't that generous, and they aren't scheduled to become all that generous in the future.

Last time I checked, this was still a first-world nation.

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Response to dawg (Reply #135)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 07:55 PM

140. But what are you entitled to if there is no connection to your benefits?

 

What if they only pay you back half in constant dollars?

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Response to dkf (Reply #140)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:27 AM

142. You know, you're the one who came up with the "no connection" bit.

All I said was that additional revenue streams could be tapped. Benefits could still be based on the Social Security wages earned by the worker over his or her lifetime, just as they currently are.

If you think current benefits are calculated in direct proportion to the amounts paid-in by individual workers, you are mistaken. There is already a significant redistributive aspect to Social Security - that's one of the reasons it is so hated by those on the right. Additional revenues could be folded into the benefit calculation at a very low replacement rate, or they could be ignored completely and used only to fund the redistributive and disability portions of the program. Either way, there would still be a relationship between worker earnings and benefits. It just wouldn't be identical to the one under current law.

Many of us will receive significantly less back in constant dollars than we paid in. That is the nature of the program. Social Security is not a savings vehicle; it is insurance against poverty in old age. I'll be happy if my return on Social Security is a poor one. It will mean I was prosperous and able to earn solid income right up to my retirement age. Others will benefit at my expense, but I would have been helped had I needed it. That is the essence of a safety net program.

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Response to dawg (Reply #142)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:38 PM

145. No...there is a positive real rate of return at almost every level. A slightly negative one the top

 

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Response to dkf (Reply #145)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 04:05 PM

146. That's good information. It proves that very little additional revenue is needed.

All Social Security needs is a small tweak. I don't even know why we're talking about it at all.

Medicare and Medicaid are where the real problems lie.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:02 PM

70. We are not living longer! The infant

mortality rate is better and that overall is giving the fake picture that we are living longer!

Hell if anything they should lower the retirement age thus opening jobs for the unemployed!

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:27 PM

72. First, repay the "borrowed" funds.

If congress ever intended to repay the borrowed Social Security funds, that would solve a whole lot of problems. Second, a lot of people get physically worn out by the work they do, even though people generally live longer. Could they possibly get disability instead? Maybe. But it's not right to ask them to go broke first while waiting, and hope like mad that their suffering will end soon.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:32 PM

73. Because many jobs are too physically demanding for older folks.

A healthy, active 70yo is still significantly less strong and has less endurance then a healthy, active 30yo. And there there are things like arthritis that strike even the healthiest old people.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:40 PM

74. Social Security doesn't dictate a retirement date.

Social Security specified dates when you can receive benefits. You can retire any time you want. It is a question of establishing a savings plan and sticking to it.

Do you have a cell phone? There's $50,000 - $100,000 in money over a lifetime right there.

Do you have a big cable TV package? There's another $100,000.

Do you go to movies or pro sports games? That adds up.

I'm not saying a person shouldn't have those things in their lifestyle, but if a person makes a CHOICE to spend money on those things throughout their life, it is hard to be too sympathetic about a change of 1 or 2 years in retirement age.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:41 PM

75. It has been raised

I'm looking at a full retirement age of at least 67.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:54 PM

77. Because so far my generation has had minimum wage frozen for two record setting ten year periods,

that no other generation previous to ours has had to deal with but at age 40 it encompasses more than half of my working life.

These minimum wage freezes were done to keep the Baby Boomers comfortable.

I can also list about 25 other things that the Boomers got that subsequent generation will never ever see.

If anyone should give something up it is the people who HAVE something. That is a tenet of DU.

And right now generationally the Boomers have more than anyone WILL EVER have.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 01:58 PM

78. HERE'S PRECISELY WHY THE SS AGE SHOULD NOT BE RAISED - Koch Bros. are behind it... Must-see Video --

From Koch Brothers Exposed (3min-47sec clip):




Full movie:


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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #78)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:08 PM

82. Well looky there

The Koch brothers echo chamber is alive and well, even here on DU. The Grand Bargain = The Koch brothers Wet Dream.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #82)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:12 PM

97. I think this info/video...

...is too important to be overlooked; ...posting it in a new thread.

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Response to Indi Guy (Reply #78)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 10:47 PM

107. Thank you for the videos!

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:01 PM

79. I don't know how old you are but you probably haven't experienced ageism at work yet

Believe me, as someone who works in an industry where the majority of jobs are contract positions, having to interview frequently, you definitely encounter prejudice against being over a certain age.

Do you want your parents struggling in their 60s and 70s trying to find work and going hungry because companies want a 'fresh, young' workforce? Do YOU want that for yourself?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:13 PM

83. 80 will never be the average human longevity.

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #83)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:27 PM

86. Pessimist!

I think 80 is totally doable. For that matter, I think 150 is potentially doable.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 02:25 PM

85. If we ever really did have a major across-the-board increase in life expectancy ...

then you are right, we should probably consider raising the retirement age. But that has not happened in recent years. As others have pointed out, life expectancy for the bottom strata may actually be going down.

Likewise, we would need an increase not just in years but in healthy years. Just because you live to 90 doesn't mean you're capable of doing full-time work at 70.

So, if we do have great advances in health over the next few generations that everyone benefits from, then maybe we can revisit this issue. But until then, this is nothing more than a plutocrat scheme to make life even worse for the 99% and to head off any potential tax increases on them. (Such as raising the cap or subjecting investment income to social security tax.)

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:33 PM

88. The longer life spans are not equally distributed across demographic groups . . .

. . . The wealthy (those who least need Social Security and Medicare) are far likelier to live longer than are the working class.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:33 PM

89. There aren't enough jobs to keep all the young people employed.

How are you going to put all the older folks to work, too? I think I did the rest of the country a service when I took early social security. Let a couple other people do my old job.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #89)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:38 PM

91. that's my answer

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #89)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 01:00 AM

115. +1000

With all of the improvements in productivity thanks to technology, we should be easing back towards a 25 or 30 hour work week and lowering the retirement age. There just isn't that much genuinely useful work for so many people to be doing.

But instead of focusing on the necessities and freeing everyone back up for creative pursuits, we're creating useless pseudo-jobs in finance, HR, marketing, etc. not to mention all the planet-wrecking pointless shit we manufacture, just so we can maintain the illusion of infinite growth and so the top 1% can keep skimming off all the profits that come from hiring fewer people, making them worker hard because of an artificial scarcity in payroll, burning them out and then hiring the next crop of kids as soon as possible.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 03:42 PM

93. Several reasons.

 

1) Companies don't hire older workers.
2) Keeping older workers in the job market creates more competition against younger entrants.
3) Not everyone lives longer. Certain demographics, such as the poor, have shorter lifespans.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:14 PM

98. Because I paid into it my whole working life at the higher rate...

...introduced in the 1980s, so if anything I have more right to it than current retirees.

Why do we have to accept less? Why can't the already-wealthy get more wealthy a little slower and pay their employees more?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:42 PM

102. get back to us when you are 65

Last edited Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:57 PM - Edit history (1)

from Paul Krugman: For while average life expectancy has indeed risen, that increase is confined to the relatively well-off and well-educated the very people who need Social Security least. Meanwhile, life expectancy is actually falling for a substantial part of the nation.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 05:56 PM

103. you know, my dad's girlfriend worked at a laundry facility.

they did the laundry for the jail and the hospital etc. back breaking work day in and day out. why indeed should she not have done that longer. I mean. Most lower income workers are doing that kind of back breaking work. Physical labor that as you age gets harder and harder to do. But by all means... Lets ask them to do it longer. Work until you die. Yes, that the ticket. May I ask you what type of work you do zaj? Do you really believe that people should not have SOME retirement time before they die?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 06:02 PM

104. you must be young.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:34 PM

105. How old are you?

 

What do you do for a living? How strenuous is that? Are you already well off, or think you will be in your retirement years?

If we do nothing, Social Security is fine for another, at least 25 years. Plenty of time to remedy the problems.
The biggest problem is that we are buying the Republican bullshit that Social Security is in trouble in the first place. And it will be if we try to "fix it" with the proposals floating around now.

The actual problem is the shipping over seas of our Living Wage Jobs. The very same jobs that fully funded Social Security till bu$h and company tanked the economy... twice.

Leave Social Security alone and work on the real problems in this country, The shortage of Living Wage Jobs being near the top. Do that and Social Security will be fine far into the future, far beyond what any of us will care about.

Oh, and let's not forget Single Payer, Universal Health Care to keep us healthier till we do die of old age. Yes we can afford good retirements and good health care, if we stop our wars of aggression and pay attention to the welfare of the citizens of this county, as stated in the Constitution... Twice.

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Response to RC (Reply #105)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 05:41 PM

149. +1

The retirement age needs to be lowered, not raised.

If we have money for multiple wars of choice, we have the money to lower the retirement age and transition to a single-payer health care system.

And hey, guess what, govt.? By keeping our current dysfunctional health care system that rations care based on personal wealth, and kills 100,000 people per year in the U.S due to lack of health care, think of how much more tax money they'd get if they hadn't allowed the 100,000 to die.



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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 07:39 PM

106. I'll be 62 next week, and I'm tired NOW dammit! Retirement age has already been pushed up to 67, so

what do you want? I would like a few years left to enjoy life.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 10:51 PM

108. If you factor out infant mortality

we are not living any longer than we did at least 50 years ago.

http://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/07/06/990641

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Mon Oct 1, 2012, 11:06 PM

110. I'm a 58 y.o. waitress

I'm ready to stop now. Before I drop. It's getting harder and harder to find work and if I lose this job, I wonder if I would find another.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:28 AM

112. First and foremost, increasing the labor pool diminishes wages

The need for labor dwindles on virtually all levels, some will call out a few fields with needs knowing full well the number is insignificant against the available potential labor.
The systems is not designed for high unemployment and flat or declining wages.

Much of the difference is child mortality, I would guess a decline in massive war casualties, and keeping the ill alive longer.
Outside if that you are pretty much saying Social Security and Medicare are themselves a problem of keeping useless eaters alive too long.

Whatever you thoughts on the make up and validity of "living longer", you and no one thinking along the same lines ever identifies the potential medium or even long term need for the additional labor and sure as hell never want to discuss the hit in wages over lifetime.
67 is pretty much batshit crazy as it is. A lot of folks are wore the hell out, are not in any demand, and add availability to a labor market that can never be expected to approach full employment without crashing wages, if then. Thank God it isn't effective right now but there is virtually no reason it won't be stupid when it happens.

I also wonder why some feel we need to work the last bits of productivity from our citizens, tax them for decades, and then build a system that hopes many will die at their post as not to payout?

Nobody is being made to retire if they want to work, are capable, and are in demand but this bullshit about not wanting those that aren't in as swell of a place to put it down and enjoy some years in some health and peace.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 12:39 AM

113. Ever try to get a job over 50?

I am 56 and only jobs i find are part time minimum wage ones.

Most office places and other companies hire people in their 20's and 30's to keep health care costs down and because they have more energy.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 09:54 AM

118. How old are you?

all the "big and bright" ideas about old people usually come from someone who isn't "old".

get back to us when you are about 60 years old, then tell us about how you want to change the social security age, okay?

god, these types of discussions are exhausting.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 09:59 AM

119. Because it's an unnecessary benefit CUT, plain and simple. It will cause hardship.

Living longer does not mean living healthy enough to work.

WRONG. WRONG. We should be talking improving, not cutting benefits.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 10:06 AM

120. If you're a white collar worker that may not seem extreme, but

If you pound nails, climb 40' ladders or crawl under houses like carpenters, painters or plumbers, you might be ready to pack it in at 62. I don't do that kind of work anymore, and I surely wouldn't want to at 63.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:10 PM

126. i just read where we are not living as long. and ... where are the jobs???? nt

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:14 PM

127. People who do hard physical work are used up in their 50s

I made it to 56 as a nurse before my body gave out. There is no way I could have survived to 70 to collect Social Security, I'd have been claiming Disability long before then and we all know how easy it is to get that.

Only desk jockeys could possibly think that raising the retirement age is a good thing. Y'all need to get out and dig ditches for six months and then get back to the rest of us.

Personally, I think the retirement age should be lowered to 55, the lower SS payments being enough to help people eke out a survival with them plus a part time, dead end but sedentary job like working in a gas kiosk or convenience store.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:16 PM

128. 55 really? What about those who are 54, should it not be protected

How about 53? 50, and assume you started working at 18

What about those who have contributed 20 years to the system

Sorry but social security is not the reason we have problems

They have been robbing from the system for years to fight wars and other garbage from what it was intended

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:17 PM

129. Because its good enough the way it is.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:20 PM

131. The age of eligablity should be going DOWN not up

living longer should not be a punishment.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:23 PM

132. Because 60 is still 60. Even if you live longer. Why should they not be able to more easily enjoy...

their retirement. No one with a D next to their name should mention anything except for strengthening SS. And strengthening does not mean cutting benefits under the bullshit scam of making the fund last longer. That is as RW of an argument as it gets.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 04:43 PM

133. Its interesting zaj hasn't come back to reply to many requests for his/her age and occupation

I'm curious about those two stats from the OP since (like others) I'm going to guess the answer to those questions factor into the rationale for their position.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:55 PM

137. Bodies wear out!

PERIOD.

Like it or not, even with cushy desk jobs, deterioration of function happens. Degenerative joint disease also known as osteoarthritis happens, so that by age 50, a large percentage of people have some degree of joint pain somewhere! If a person has labored as in manual labor (farming, mining, construction, policing, some health care, etc) throughout their working years, the wear and tear is worse or more accelerated. Also, at middle age, even those who are generally healthy and may have had good/normal blood pressure, will develop slight lability where the pressure readings may inch up into the "need medication" range. It is because of vascular changes that simply happen with age. PERIOD.

My sister has had some serious health issues that forced her to retire last spring at age 63. A social worker, she had worked fulltime since 1974 or for 38 years! She had paid her dues so to speak, yet she gets only a portion of what she'd have gotten had she worked another 3 years... ridiculous. But those fuckers with good gov't healthcare and pensions in Washington want to raise the retirement age until we die!

I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that while you may have 100 year old Senators who have their peeps to do the heavy lifting (a la Strom Thurmond), you won't have 100 year old maids.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 06:59 PM

138. Are you saying

it's OK for your grandparents to work until they are 70?

You do realize, I suppose, that means that most of the people won't live to EVER collect a dime of social security.

That's the point of raising the age - less survive to collect, and those that do, don't live long enough to collect their investment.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Tue Oct 2, 2012, 09:00 PM

141. Bless your heart! Thanks so much for your concern! ANSWER:

Because we fucking don't want to.

And Reagan was the worst president in history.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 11:34 AM

143. my father retired from a factory--he was pretty much used up

if you are a lawyer, fine
a doctor perhaps

but if you make your living on a factory floor?
no please do not raise it.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 04:12 PM

147. It's a much bigger stimulus to the economy to retire early, like in France

and allows younger folks into the work pool without starving oldsters. Also, the cap should be lifted on the payroll tax , and the payout should double.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 04:21 PM

148. Suppose you raise the retirement age....

....how many years will you have left to enjoy your retirement? Life expectancy for US males is 75.6, and US females, 80.8.

Based on the life expectancy numbers noted above, how many will actually live to retirement age?

What will be your quality of life as you encounter the illnesses normally brought on by old age?

How many folks in their sixties will be able to retain gainful employment until a later retirement age?

Hey, if you want to retire later in life, feel free, but I'd like to stick with the current system, thanks.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 06:45 PM

150. Economic reason - the longer you force working class people to labor at full-time jobs

The fewer mid-level jobs you have for working-class people to work up to and out into professional/management levels in the prime of their earning age.
We aren't talking entrepreneurs, we're talking working people who get by-the-hour paychecks from private and public organizations work. These are hierarchal jobs, based on a mixture of skill and time/experience common in every business culture that the majority of Americans do to support themselves and their families and hopefully they can make enough money for their future at.
But the problem with every hierarchy is that while there may be a bunch of openings at the bottom, there are only a few at the top. Most people never make it to Head Honcho Desk-rider with responsibilities over both the workforce and the overall focus of the organization; most retire stuck somewhere in between head rep, line leader or project lead and shop foreman, shift leader or office manager. The upper level blue/pink collar worker/mid-level white collar management/expert positions - the ones that drive the middle class, buying houses and raising families.

So, the longer you economically force people to continue working, the fewer chances for advancement the younger generations have and those younger people will not have the opportunity to make enough money to start making the investment in the country's economy and infrastructure, forcing them into dependency on family or government supplemental programs if they want to raise families - instead of allowing them to work themselves in a stable financial position so when it comes time for them to retire, they won't be totally dependent on Social Security and Medicare for their survival.

Flatly - by raising the Social Security age, you decrease sustainable employment opportunities for those in their 20's and 30's.

Better to raise the cap on Social Security to all income, instead of capping it to the income level of those who will probably need to apply to take Social Security benefits to supplement their "retirement 401Ks" or whatever is left of their pensions after they retire because they didn't really make enough while they were working to put enough away to actually retire the way their parents did or could have at the age of 65.

80% of the people who retire depend on Social Security and Medicare to at least supplement their living expenses when they're over 70. And there are those who begin collecting Social Security as soon as they can while still working so they can pump whatever they can into some sort of "Retirement Investment" so they can eventually retire - at 70 or 72 years old - and still live in their homes, eat, pay their property taxes, and take care of their health needs until they die with some modicum of dignity. And perhaps have a little bit to pass on to their children and grandchildren.

Haele

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 06:47 PM

151. I have a question too. Why shouldn't the cap be raised instead of eligibility age?

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 06:50 PM

152. It's already 67

There are very great number of people in jobs that are quite physical, and most of those won't be able to work until 67. Their retirement benefits have already been effectively cut.

Very many people have jobs that require physical stamina such that they cannot work a full-time schedule past anywhere from 60 to 64-65, even if they are in decent shape.

I think you are not thinking.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 06:54 PM

153. Ever worked in the coal mines?

What about as a garbage collector? Ever been a roofer? The age can be raised for people who have been behind a desk for their working lives...however, physical laborers are pretty much worn out by 65.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:19 PM

154. Some of us still have physically demanding jobs.

I know we're not always a respected group here at DU, but whatever.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #154)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 10:45 PM

156. Hell, I work a desk job. I can't imagine being able to keep up with it till 67, much less 70 and

beyond. There isn't a soul in the office that is even 60, those in their fifties are run ragged and mostly in less demanding positions and if you think HR would consider anyone over 60 then puff, puff, pass. At 40 I'm well past the average age, which is probably about 31 with most in their 20's and burning out.

Not only are bodies used up but so are minds and certainly spirits.

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Response to zaj (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:24 PM

155. Because people with, for instance, good public service sector jobs are forced out at 65 and

would then be unemployed and probably unemployable at that age anyway. How will you fill the gap between forced-retirement age and SS collection age???

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