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Updated on February 21, 2011
President Rosevelt signing Social Security Law in l935.
President Rosevelt signing Social Security Law in l935.
No laughing matter.
No laughing matter.

When should benefits begin?

Americans are healthier, stronger, live longer and many want to continue working past retirement age. Social Security itself is 75 years old and has promised more than it can produce in revenue. These deficits will show themselves in 2016.

Add to this the fact that younger workers will pay more into the program than they can ever receive. It is not a good investment.

What is the solution? The most obvious solution is to up the retirement age. The present age for retirement benefits is 67, raised from 65 in l983. But social security retirement age has not kept current with longevity. We are all living longer. Googling shows the life expectancy in 2008 at 78.4 years. Other countries, such as France and Germany, faced with the same problem have raised their pension ages.

The Heritage Foundation gives these facts concerning life expectancy ages among ethnic groups in America.

There is a much smaller difference between racial and ethnic groups when life expectancy is measured at 65. Counting both genders together, an African-American who reaches age 65 has a life expectancy of 1.2 years less than a non-Hispanic Caucasian. However, a Hispanic worker at age 65 has a life expectancy that is 4.2 years longer than that of an African-American and 3 years longer than that of a non-Hispanic Caucasian.”

This may lead one to ask if it’s fair for Caucasians to enjoy more retirement time than African-Americans and Hispanics.

To compound the problem the population has increased significantly since the inception of the program. Social Security must now make payments to four times the number that had to be supported when the system was created.

One thing all Americans can agree upon is something must be done and it won’t be easy or pleasant or without controversy. Several administrations have tackled the problem and been silenced for doing so.


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