Dec 14, 2012

We Should Double Social Security Benefits!

     Steven Hill writing in The Atlantic urges that we double Social Security benefits. I know and Hill knows that isn't going to happen but he makes a strong argument that Social Security benefits shouldn't be cut and, if anything, should be increased.
     Only about a third of seniors now have pension income. Defined benefit pensions -- the kind that pay a guaranteed benefit -- have been rapidly disappearing over the last thirty years. Only about 10% of workers are now covered by this type of pension. Sixty-five percent of workers are now covered by defined contribution pensions -- 401(k) type plans --  which have exploded in popularity with employers over the last thirty years. The problem is that:
401(k)s and other defined-contribution plans have turned out to be an unreliable pillar of retirement security, not only because they don't provide as secure a net but because many Americans are pretty lousy at managing their investments. A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that more than one-quarter of baby boomer households thought "hardly at all" about retirement and that financial literacy among boomers was "alarmingly low." Half could not do a simple math calculation (divide $2 million by five) and fewer than 20 percent could calculate compound interest.
     Seventy-five percent of Americans nearing retirement have less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts.
     Traditionally, home ownership has provided seniors with a cushion they can rely upon in retirement but during the Great Recession homeowners have lost $8 trillion in home equity. Twenty-eight percent of homeowners are underwater on their mortgages.
     The result is that about half of Americans are at risk of not having sufficient retirement income. 
     Still think the idea of increasing Social Security benefits is no outlandish? Are you really ready for retirement?


Anonymous said...

I have tons of sympathy for people who lost pensions due to company bankruptcy, etc. through no fault of their own and didn't have adequate other retirement savings. But for all these boomers who were 401(k) from Jump Street who have next to nothing in their mid-to-late 50s or older? Don't cut my future benefits to give more money to irresponsible boomers who didn't save and gambled on being able to flip a house for 100% profit in five years like the three previous owners did.

Bob Richards said...

Everyone should get lots of social securiy benefits. Why not $10,000 a month? But Where will this money come from? Take a look at my social security benefit statement and you can see where the funds are sourced

Dina Padilla said...

Many boomers DID HAVE PENSIONS but thanks to employers, it was all lost as in 501k's OR taken by employers after these boomers were injured at work. OH, AND our unions, that we paid union dues to help us, well, they disappeared when we got hurt and when we got fired while on comp.
Try going to ERISA, SSA, ADA, HIPPA or any other state or govt agency for help, (who really only know to help themselves as in insuring money) to get your rightful benefits. Good luck AND had the SSA done it's job, more boomers would be getting SSDI rather than half ON SSI and or SSA would know to report that employers didn't pay WC total disability and we had no choice but to go onto SSA, but we did pay into that and still got screwed by the SSA.
You want to know when something is rigged? Well, just try and find any representation to get results. When you can't, then you know it was not only rigged but created that way by our very own congress who is in charge of this country's purse strings and how it all gets allocated OR transferred from one dept to another.
The SSA decided to help employers who were already helping themselves to our pensions, worker comp claim money and THEN to add another financial whammy to us, our employers do not have to pay their share of FICA because we're on SSI!!!!!!
How's that for rigging by the govt for employers with the unions?
Don'y worry about any of injured working stiff's boomer's getting 10,000 a month because that is only for CEO's and their buddies in congress.