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More on no Social Security at 62

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Monday, December 27, 2010
Posted: 4 pm ET

Three months ago, I blogged about a proposal from the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, to get rid of the option to take Social Security at age 62. Holy cow, the people who thought this was a lousy retirement planning proposal have continued to fill my e-mail inbox with their thoughts.

This note, from a woman who begged to be anonymous, seems to reflect the majority opinion about retirement timing most eloquently:

"I totally disagree with your premise to raise the age of full retirement benefits. I am currently 60 years old. I do not have a retirement account and have a meager pension to collect when I retire. I cannot wait to retire! I am tired, sick and need to step away from the enormous stress of my job. I cannot accomplish this until I am 63 and am terrified that reckless ideas as yours will be enacted.

I cannot work until 66. That is not an option, but I am not sick enough to qualify for disability. I have worked full time -- two and three jobs at a time -- since I was 15 years old. They have collected Social Security from every one of those paychecks, an amount I doubt I will ever fully collect.

You might wonder why I am not better prepared for my retirement. I was a single mother, I raised a wonderful son, kept a roof over our heads and never, ever relied on public assistance. There were too many weeks we had to decide if we would buy groceries or pay bills. (I am sure you have no concept of this lifestyle). I don't regret those years, just wish there had been other options.

Bottom line -- leave Social Security alone. I earned it. I need it."
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Does anyone see this issue differently?

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915 Comments
jzxcv
February 25, 2011 at 8:15 am

I don't plan on it and I won't need it, but I want it. They made me pay it for the past 35 years. As soon as I can, I want to get back what I can. I'd already be retired if I'd been able to properly invest the money Uncle Sam took, then dipped into it like a personal spending account.

tom
February 25, 2011 at 8:01 am

originally, Roosevelt put the $ in a "special" account..Not for general use. Johnson took it out of that account and put it in the general fund to pay for Vietnam. It's been a sludge fund ever since.

Sharley52
February 25, 2011 at 7:54 am

Leave well enough alone and let 62 stay as it is! As one writer summarizes, employers do not valued thier "seasoned" employees any longer and would much rather hire/promote the young folk. I have been on my job going on 26 years and have spent half my life working for the same company. Everything is political AND management has their "picks" I want to retire when my time comes. In closing, as JG Wentworth says in his commercials "it's my money and I need it now" will be my credo once I reach 62.

Nurse30
February 25, 2011 at 7:36 am

I did not collect Soc. Sec. until I was 65 due to the fact that I am still working. I am now 71 and still working. I can't afford not to. I have no retirement, but I do have a 401K. People live a lot longer and Soc. Sec should reflect this. I don't think anyone should be allowed to collect until they are at least 67 and then later push it up to 70. The only reason I am working as an RN is that I couldn't get a job as an Engineer with 5 degrees. Over qualified (translated as "too old"). You'd think with 3 Masters I could at least work as an Engineer for less pay. But no, could not find a job. So.... am now working as a nurse with 2 torn rotator cuffs (repaired), a total hip replacement, a broken nose and a mass in my lung. Go figure.
So guys and gals, if I can do it, so can you. God bless and good luck!

ke tush
February 25, 2011 at 7:29 am

Im 62 and have been getting SSD for 7 years due to a lung disorder and two knee replacements. My 63 year ld wife collects on my SS also. We barely make it thru the month on these benefits,. Ive been working since i was 14 and im not ashamed to draw on what I've put in.I earned it. I worked 3 jobs and raised 4 children...GOD BLESS SOCIAL SECURITY untill you cannot get it..If its left to REPUBLICAN LAWAKERS you won't. LET THEM PAY INTO THEIR OWN SS AND HEALTHCARE.. It would save us taxpayers Kazillions

Robert Graham
February 25, 2011 at 5:45 am

bottom Line Leave our money alone the government has no right to it if they would quit giving it away to those Lazy oh I'm to fat to work sobs and all the other so called Handycaped people that have never worked a day of there life our money then mybe there would be a lot more to go around when the ones that paid it need it

don beamsih
February 25, 2011 at 1:26 am

Social security is not living up to it's promise. It has increasingly become a carrot on a stick, not unlike the current debate on health insurance, both of which are mandates. We are neither trusted to prepare for our own retirement nor our own health. I would be perfectly happy to just have my money back.

David
February 24, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Agreed. Social Security IS a ponzi scheme, and a poor one at that. In place of making sound tactical investments the money that is still there accrues interest similar to government bonds. What do investors run too when there money is in danger and they aren't necessarily worried about making money? Government Bonds. The entire system is on the brink of insolvency. The real numbers show that it has already started paying out more money annually then it takes in, and the baby boomer retirement avalanche is just beginning. Just raising the retirement age will not solve anything by itself, but is a necessary step for younger generations like myself. People are going to have to become comfortable with the fact that FICA is either A) going to have to include some real investment of your money (and thus exposure to some risk) or B) keep more of it for yourself and invest it on your own terms. There are too many numbers to review in such a small space, but if people would actually read Paul Ryan's Roadmap for America, they would understand that some do have the vision to fix this, and there are real choices that can be made without sacrificing those close to retirement or throwing younger generations under the bus for the sake of those who did not or could not provide for their own retirement. For those that do keep an open mind, instead of buying into whatever rhetoric the political machine throws at you, you can find Mr. Ryan's vision here roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov As it stands this nation is out of money and this administration continues to shred the value of every dollar you earn through tricks such as Quantitative Easing. If people could get past their anger and stop crying like a 2 year old who is about to have their toy taken by an older sibling, perhaps we could lend our voices to forcing the political class to take real action.

jim brooksher
February 24, 2011 at 10:17 pm

The enterprise institute is the Koch Bros. Richest two men in the world. The ones behind busting the unions in WI. They own at least 25 front tax free operations to promote there agenda, plus the Republican party. I have worked since I was 15, I have had about 6 xmas's off work since I was 22 years old. I retired when I turned 62, 2010. I have cancer, heart disease, and schwannoma tumors in my spine, and I do not qualify for disability. I lost my IRA in stock market crash on blue monday 1987. I am negative in my current investment for the last 10 years. One of my grandfathers was not literate, he owned 160 acres, raised 6 kids. He was a farmer, I sold his watermelons for 50 cents apiece, if you busted one you paid for it.Both my parents ancestors fought in the american revolution, civil war, ww1, ww2, vietnam. I come from Native American ancestry, but most ancestors would not admit it because of bigotry. Cherokee and Choctaw, French and English, and to have the Koch Bros. try and do away with all "social Welfare". I would love to meet the brothers

Ray
February 24, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Bottomline Up Front: The age of Social Security must be adapted to meet the new life expectancy of Americans.

1. It was never meant to be a retirement fund.
2. The current system will further push the U.S. into debt and the selfishness of seniors who aren't willing to compromise will greatly affect their grandchildren who are smart enough to know that Social Security will not be around when they are eligible...yet they will be force to pay for their grandparents and parents Social Security.
3. We might be able to extend the life of Social Security if we start looking for people who are commiting fraud against the system. How many people are under 62 and collecting Social Security when they have NEVER paid anything in?

Sorry up front for all the facts that run counter to most of the very emotional comments of people who would see the age remain at 62.