My Greatest Fear After Retirement

In the United States these days, thanks to many different issues with freedom of expression and freedom of speech, the morality meter has broken down. A very large part is due to Hollywood, cable television, and the advent of video games which also was influenced by Hollywood and the especially the military. Hollywood has had a major influence as well on politics here in the USA and abroad.

The other day I spoke with an elderly gentleman, I’ll just call him Max, who told me his major concern now that his family is grown and he is retired is that he will outlive his Social Security benefits. I told Max bot to worry and explained:

Social Security benefits, which last as long as you live, provide valuable protection against outliving savings and other sources of retirement income. (source: SSA.GOV)

Max has bad knees and his wife Joanna has extreme immune deficiencies, severe asthma with chronic bronchitis issues, fibromyalgia, and many more health problems some of which she was born with and others which were due to being in a very abusive marriage with her first husband for 37 years.

I Googled what Max said to me and found that over 21 million others were saying the same thing.

Retirement

Max explained to me he had taken care of other people for most of his life and not saved for his retirement. He always thought there was time. However, in the 80s he was saving for retirement through first an employee profit sharing plan with his employer of 15 years at the time which was subsequently turned into a 401K plan managed by a famous investment firm which depleted the money through broker transaction fees. This was all during the Enron fraud scandal era. Max was gun shy after this and never invested again.

In 2018 Max was forced to retire earlier than his planned age of retirement at sixty six by the company he was employed by for over 12 years. So now due to and his wife’s health issues, their only income is the SSA check he receives and the disability check his wife receives.

Max and Joanna are not unique to their situation. Many retired folks across the United States have similar situations and it’s getting worse by the minute. 

The Social Security System was not intended to be a permanent fixture in our society, but neither was it intended to be a cookie jar politicians can pull from any time they have a special interest project in the works, but time and again the same move is made as the Social Security System dwindles.

The Social Security System could work and work well with the proper management, however, just as with the (IRS) Internal Revenue Service the system has become so broken and complicated it takes a lawyer to explain it. Both systems need a massive overhaul and reduction in complication.