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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
Lyle
February 25, 2011 at 1:33 pm

The government makes one GIVE there money in to SSI, then tell you when you can retire, bull. If congress had to pay into SSI
this would not even be an issue.

Str8_Talker
February 25, 2011 at 1:31 pm

If you retire with an average salary of $150,000 or more over the last 10 years before retirement... you should not receive Social Security... YOU ARE GOOD TO GO! You have made enough $$ to both eat, shelter and raise a family... PLUS, sock alot of extra cash into retirement. You had the smarts, opportunity and time to plan ahead... Great.

But for those of us who have ALSO work HARD, planned ahead but lost so much due to health, economic or employment downturns or who normally make 1/2 to 1/3 as much $ to raise their families...thus have no savings / retirement left... this is what Social Security was designed for.

Is it fair? Nah, but neither is life. But those who worked 20-30 years; sacrificed to raise the next generation, were responsible parents and paid Social Security taxes but were unable to have a retirement fund or lost it... Social Security should be there for them.

Social Security should NEVER be paid out to those who: 1) Did not work and pay into it. 2) Be paid out to NON-CITIZENS 3) Paid to wealthy retirees who don't need and are self-sufficient. It's a tax designed to protect the Middle Class workers. There simply aren't enough of $150,000/yr salary jobs for all workers.

Thus, it should NEVER be used as an entitlement nor a retirement vacation payday fund for the rich... but a lifeline to older, middle class workers with small pensions, if any survived.

Jon
February 25, 2011 at 12:12 pm

Only a "Liberal" would want to denigh the people who paid into the system all their lives to draw their social security. Thats what it is for. I just applied- - - I'm 65 and the reason is I have been unemployed since 2009. I keep hearing the "Over Qualified" reason but in reality, its because I'm over 60. Thanks to the liberal thinking in Washington DC and spend--spend is primarily why this country is going broke and folks are unemployed. Its not a "God Given" right to draw SSN, but the people who paid into it have the right to at least draw out their contributions.

It was a democratic president who decided to allow SSN to be tapped by unscrupulous politicians for their own gain. Now someone wants to jack with it again? Not a good idea to say the least.

Anita Kansas
February 25, 2011 at 10:53 am

My suggestion is quit taking care of other countries that stab us in the back and take care of the American citizen whose taxes have paid for that support. Lets take care of the American Worker, after all our government doesn't have one penny that does not come from our taxes.
Thats why social security should be privatized, if you pay into it you get it if you don't you don't. Its called reponsibility and earning your bread and butter.

Robert65
February 25, 2011 at 9:44 am

Have we already forgotten the government already reduced the amount of benefits we get at age 62? They dropped our benefits from 75% to 70% of the estimated full benefit, a few years ago.

For those of us not in excellent health, SS at 62 is still a better deal. If I had to work that extra 4 years, I most likely wouldn't be around to collect any benefits.

Jeff of Peoria
February 25, 2011 at 9:29 am

It's real simple. I paid in my money and I want it back. I'm self-employed so I pay both sides.

Ed
February 25, 2011 at 9:19 am

We ALL need to wake up and smell the reality of our country's financial position. We simply can not print, borrow or tax enough money to pay all the "promises" made by elected officials who bought today's votes to stay in office on tomorrow's bills. Tomorrow is here and now. If we want any SS checks we need an older retirement age and smaller cost of living increases. We have seen our standard of living increase, which is good, but it can not keep increasing with out increased efficiency and production. Obama wants to lock in his 25% spending increases and call it a cut. It is locking in huge increases we can not afford. If our system implodes, like is happening over in Europe there will be no one to bail us out. The REALITY is when we collapse there will be massive REAL cuts that will make any cut proposals today seem tame. We need to fix this NOW and it will not be easy or painless. But if we don't fix this the pain will be far worse, and we best face up to that fact.

Pete
February 25, 2011 at 9:02 am

The anonymous lady referred to in this article is definitely on target. Many people in our generation were not as fortunate as others to have high-wage employment in our working years, much less any tangible benefits, such as, health care, retirement plan, etc. I had to retire early (at 58) on Social Security Disability due to complications from cancer surgeries. The amount of my monthly disability benefit is several hundred dollars BELOW what has been cited as being the AVERAGE disability benefit disbursed. With consumer goods prices increasing significantly, and the lack of a cost-of-living increase in our benefit amount for 2 consecutive years now, the financial burden on the poor, disabled, and seniors is increasing exponentially. Lest anyone forget, the Social Security Act signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 was intended to help ensure that the aged and the disabled did not have to live in poverty. I find it unconsciounable the Congress can continue expending billions in foreign aid (especially to known corrupt governments overseas), as well as, permit the wealthiest citizens & Big Corporate America in this country to pay the LEAST amount in taxes! Add to this appalling scenario the fact the Congress continues CUTTING domestic programs which benefit the poor and neediest Americans. Obama's health care reform was tagged as being tantamount to having "death panels." Given the current state of affairs for the aforementioned groups of American citizens...this fiscal issue certainly would seem to be a form of not-so-subtle FORCED ATTRITION. How many disabled veterans, seniors, and others who must subsist upon a low, fixed, monthly income will be found deceased in their residences (or on the streets) this year...all because they had to choose between having heat, food, or needed medications? How many must pay the ULTIMATE price...before their voices are heard? When you have to live as we do, or watch your parents or other loved ones struggle in this manner...perhaps our voices will not seem so muffled or distant.

Luke
February 25, 2011 at 8:48 am

Letting the government be responsible for your retirement is like letting them take care of your health...

Johnny
February 25, 2011 at 8:21 am

Let us not forget the United States government entered into a contract with the American people to provide SS benefits at age 62. If the government breaks this contract, let us collectively sue the government. If that does not work, let us take heart from the example of the repressed people of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, et. al. and throw the yoke of repressive government off and return to a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people." In the meantime, let us pass a law to force Congressmen/woman to pay into Social Security instead of the cushy and well-funded Congressional Retirement Fund.