Thursday, October 25, 2007

Baby Boomers Start Applying for Social Security

Kathleen Casey-Kirschling has become the first baby boomer to apply for social security. She becomes eligible for early retirement benefits in January. This puts the social security crisis back into the forefront of issues that need to be dealt with. If nothing is done, the program will end up with an estimated shortfall of $13.6 trillion. Personally, if I was Ms. Casey-Kirschling, I'd do exactly what she did... grab the money as early as I could to make sure I got something back. Inevitably, we'll either need to raise taxes or reduce benefits.

One of the most interesting quotes from the article is

When you're behind closed doors, and you're not posturing for the public or for the media,'' [Social Security Administration Commissioner] Astrue said, ``they [Democrats and Republicans] say almost word for word the same thing.


Anonymous said...

I'm with Joe Leiberman on this, raise the age to 70. Some might not live that long... and that is the point.


Nomad said...

Makes you wonder why NO ONE was willing to work with Bush back when Social Security was on the agenda. Now it i 6 years later, and we're 6 years worse off.

quizwedge said...

I think Leiberman is right about the age thing as the point of Social Security is to take care of the elderly. It wasn't supposed to be for everyone. With people living longer, the age needs to go up instead of having early retirement. That being said, I wouldn't want to be the one to deliver that message.

shadwomom1 said...

I am in that first year of baby boomers, but I don't plan to retire until at least 70. I think many of my generation either want to or have to continue working longer than the 67.2 years of our full benefit. Those who are retiring at 62 probably don't really need the money. It isn't that much. And you still can't get Medicare until 65.

Anyway, the baby boomers cover almost 20 years of birth dates. I think the worries really come for the younger ones. Those of us in the first wave should be OK. (I hope!!!)

The age for full benefits is being raised, depending upon birth date, but the first age, for reduced benefits, has remained at 62. I don't know why they did not change that.

I would not be opposed to a means test for benefits. As it stands, Bill Gates can file for and collect SS benefits when he is of the correct age. It would need to be a higher threshhold than many people would like, though, as money does not go far in some areas of the country.