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Subject:  Re: Obama on payroll tax Date:  6/18/2008  9:00 AM
Author:  billjam Number:  13480 of 20605

"Also, eliminate early retirement benefits at age 62. No retirement benefit until reaching the normal retirement age, now rising towards age 67."

Sorry, I can't go along with that. First, my promised company pension turned out to be a joke. Wonderful if you worked there 40 years, but poverty level if they slashed your job after 24 years, which they did. And no way to recoup the lost benefits with a new employer because their pension was also only good if you spent your whole life there.

Second, many older employees will be pushed out long before they reach 67. And there are only so many greeter jobs available at Wal-Mart. Seriously, how many 60+ new employees in high paying jobs has your current or former company hired in the last year? For the majority of workers all the talk about working more years is just talk unless they're willing to take huge pay cuts.

Third, I've seen many employees forced to retire early due to health issues. Even with savings and a reduced pension, they count on SS to bridge the gap between just existing and living.

Ironic thing is when I was 30 I never expected SS to be there for me. I saved and invested quite successfully and thought with my pension I'd have a very, very comfortable retirement. Well, thank god, SS is there and with my investments I'm still pretty comfortable. But without SS, and soon Medicare to take the place of private health insurance that increases at a compound rate over 13%, I'd be in major trouble.

I agree we need to address both SS and Medicare for the long term. What we don't need is another 8 years of drawing a line in the sand and saying it's this or nothing. That sure worked, didn't it? We got nothing.
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