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Only 20% of men are working past age 65
The Seattle Times ^ | Friday, March 10, 2006 | Gene Balk

Posted on 03/10/2006 9:05:50 AM PST by presidio9

Senior citizens are leaving the labor force sooner than they did 50 years ago, even though they are living longer, healthier lives, according to a landmark analysis of census data released Thursday.

This is one of several surprising findings in the report on aging, which comes as the first baby boomers are nearing retirement age. The oldest baby boomers turn 60 this year, and the new report suggests that many of them already have left the labor force.

The report attributes the declining work rate among older Americans to the growth in private pensions and Social Security and Medicare benefits. As benefits for older Americans grew in the last half of the 20th century, fewer saw the need to work beyond age 65, said Mitra Toossi, an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That may change as more companies turn away from guaranteed pensions and Social Security and Medicare face substantial deficits in coming decades.

While almost half of men 65 and older worked or looked for work in 1950, fewer than 20 percent were in the labor force by 2003.

Women are working in much larger numbers earlier in life, but among those 65 and older, their participation in the labor force has remained steady at around 10 percent since 1950.

Older Americans are wealthier and better educated than ever, but the expected doubling of the elderly population by 2030 will create profound social and economic challenges, according to the report commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The report offers no new research but assembles information from a variety of census surveys and federal statistical sources, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Medicare claims.

There were 662,148 people over 65 (11.2 percent of the population) in Washington state in 2000. According to American Demographics, the Seattle/Tacoma/Bellevue metro area had 335,414 (10.5 percent of the population) people age 65 or over in 2005. This number is projected to rise to 390,775 (11.7 percent of the population) by 2010. That translates to a 16.5 percent projected increase in five years.

Overall, there are about 35 million Americans age 65 and over, a number that is projected to more than double by 2030, the report said. About 59 percent of seniors are women.

The oldest portion of the population — those 85 and older — will also double during that period, reaching 9.6 million. Likewise, the number who have celebrated their 100th birthday increased from 37,000 in 1990 to more than 50,000 a decade later. It will grow further in years to come.

These changes coincide with a steady rise in life expectancy, which reached an all-time high of 77 years in 2000, compared with 70.8 years in 1970 and just 47.3 years in 1900.

Officials attribute much of this to far lower mortality rates for heart disease. But they warn that as the population ages, more people will suffer the mental debilitation of Alzheimer's disease, which today costs society $100 billion a year.

"This report tells us that we have made a lot of progress in improving the health and well-being of older Americans, but there is much left to do," NIA Director Richard Hodes said in a statement.

Among men 65 and older, the percentage still in the labor force bottomed out in the 1980s and increased slightly since then. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the percentage to rise only slightly in the future, never again reaching the levels of 50 years ago.

"Not too long ago, people, particularly men, worked until they were physically unable to work," said Robert Friedland, director of the Center on an Aging Society at Georgetown University. "Now, people have a period of time to which they are looking forward."

But they can look forward to retirement only if they are financially prepared, said Friedland, who noted that $1 million in a retirement account isn't that much to live on if you'll be around another 20 or 30 years.

Improved benefits played a bigger role in retirement plans than the fact that workers were living longer, Toossi said.

But the biggest benefit programs face problems. Private pension systems have been defaulting at an alarming rate. Many companies are abandoning pension plans that guarantee benefits based on years of service and age at retirement.

Medicare, which just added a prescription-drug benefit, faces insolvency in 2020, according to the trust fund that runs it. Social Security, if left alone, is projected to go broke in 2041.

People over 65 live with fewer disabilities than in years past, but that often means taking multiple medications and depending on pacemakers and other devices.

And despite the unprecedented wealth of today's 65-and-older population, in 2003 the poverty rate among seniors was 10 percent. But that's lower than the 12.5 percent rate for the general population, and it's a big change from 1959, when more than a third of seniors lived below the poverty level, according to the report.

One troubling finding: 40 percent of older black and Hispanic women who live alone also live in poverty.

Dr. Richard M. Suzman, associate director of behavioral research at the aging institute, also warned that rising obesity among the young could reverse health gains.

"There's a dark cloud out there," he said. "Some have estimated that the increase in obesity could neutralize the positive trends in the future. It's likely to have more of an impact on disability than on life expectancy."

In a separate study, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that half of all people 65 and older have three or more chronic illnesses, and 20 percent have five or more. These include diabetes, hypertension, clogged arteries and arthritis — each of which can require medications.

"Many of these aren't things that are going to kill you dead, at least not for a while," said Dr. Albert Wu, a senior author and a professor of health policy and management. "But you may need a pacemaker, you may need a defibrillator and some stents in your vessels. These are ... better than the alternative — but all these things come at a price."


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: deathofthewest; genx; havemorebabies
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1 posted on 03/10/2006 9:05:51 AM PST by presidio9
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To: presidio9

It will go back up.


2 posted on 03/10/2006 9:09:24 AM PST by norraad ("What light!">Blues Brothers)
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To: qam1

ping


3 posted on 03/10/2006 9:09:42 AM PST by misterrob (Islam is a hate crime)
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To: presidio9
>>>Senior citizens are leaving the labor force sooner than they did 50 years ago,

Yeah, but we still DEMAND full Social Security. Somewhere the mathematics has got to fail. Somewhere our socialistic ponzi scheme will have too many people on the top of the pyramid, but too few people on the top.
4 posted on 03/10/2006 9:09:50 AM PST by .cnI redruM (We need to banish euphemisms. Period. In fact, we need to employ hyperbole when possible.)
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To: presidio9

The writer could not resist adding the usual poverty of the elderly crap. I am sure there is a run on Alpo as we speak.

Just another exuse for MSM to bash Bush.


5 posted on 03/10/2006 9:10:31 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: presidio9

Get there happy a$$es out of the house...I hear Wal-Mart is hiring...


6 posted on 03/10/2006 9:10:46 AM PST by dakine
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To: presidio9

The definition of work has changed, too.

Guys who sell stuff on eBay, or run a web site, or prepare taxes for their friends, they're working. You don't need a job and a W2 any more.


7 posted on 03/10/2006 9:13:12 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: presidio9

The definition of work has changed, too.

Guys who sell stuff on eBay, or run a web site, or prepare taxes for their friends, they're working. You don't need a job and a W2 any more.


8 posted on 03/10/2006 9:13:14 AM PST by proxy_user
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To: dakine

Hey, my Mom is 73 and she works 3 to 4 days a week at Walmart. She retired at 65 and was so bored, so she went back to work about 3 years ago and loves the extra money too.


9 posted on 03/10/2006 9:13:51 AM PST by antceecee (Reagan Democrat and now a Bush Republican...)
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To: .cnI redruM

Meanwhile, expect President Hillary Clinton to seize 401k funds for the common good. She tried it once before.


10 posted on 03/10/2006 9:14:26 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: presidio9
Only 20% of men are working past age 65

My observation is that only about 20% of them are working past age 35. Lot of "Retired on Active Duty" cases out there. ;)

11 posted on 03/10/2006 9:15:31 AM PST by Mr. Jeeves ("When the government is invasive, the people are wanting." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: dakine

oops
there = their...

hurry to post...


12 posted on 03/10/2006 9:15:37 AM PST by dakine
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To: KeyLargo

"Yeah, but we still DEMAND full Social Security."

I am sick and tired of my fellow baby-boomers complaining about how poor they are and that they will need SS money big-time.

They think nothing of what a huge burden this will put on our children and grand children.

This whole ponzi scheme of government hand-outs will collapse in the future when the actual workforce minority will be told that they have to support the non-working majority!

So the rest of us that saved and scrimped all of our lives instead of living off of plastic are just a bunch of saps and fools I guess.


13 posted on 03/10/2006 9:17:23 AM PST by KeyLargo
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To: Mr. Jeeves

Guilty as charged.


14 posted on 03/10/2006 9:17:30 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: .cnI redruM

I hope it's done by benfit reduction, instead of printing money or euthanasia.


15 posted on 03/10/2006 9:18:59 AM PST by 308MBR ("Ah fell in ta a bhurnin' ring o' far")
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To: presidio9

But I wonder how many of these men saved for their own retirement (401Ks and whatnot) and were secure to retire when they did.


16 posted on 03/10/2006 9:20:15 AM PST by TOWER
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To: dakine

A simple proposal:

If people work longer, the government (fed and state) gets income taxes on their wages. Thats "found" money there only if people choose to work longer rather than retire.

So...why not use that money to induce people to work longer? In other words do something like say --hey, if you keep working and are willing to accept only half of your soc. security while you are working, we will not require you to pay income tax up to $60,000 of earned income.

That could go a ways towards balancing social security. The government is no worse off because otherwise people would retire, not earn wages, and not pay the tax anyway. Social security has less money coming out of it. People feel better about it because it is their choice.rather than some forced raising of retirement age or reduction in benefits.

Thoughts?


17 posted on 03/10/2006 9:20:18 AM PST by Wisconsin
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To: KeyLargo
The writer could not resist adding the usual poverty of the elderly crap.

I noticed that too.

I am sure there is a run on Alpo as we speak.

LOL!!

18 posted on 03/10/2006 9:20:36 AM PST by radiohead (Hey Kerry, I'm still here; still hating your lying, stinking guts, you coward.)
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To: antceecee
Hey, my Mom is 73 and she works 3 to 4 days a week at Walmart.

Good for her.

My wife met a 73 year old lady working at Hardee's, got to talking to her and found out that she had worked there for 3 years and had never missed a days work.

19 posted on 03/10/2006 9:20:42 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: 308MBR

In Canada, they recently had a major court case where a province won the right to deny benefits on a basis of cost. Cost-benefit analysis would be the closest thing to a just cost containment strategy you could think of. It just wouldn't be "fair".


20 posted on 03/10/2006 9:21:21 AM PST by .cnI redruM (We need to banish euphemisms. Period. In fact, we need to employ hyperbole when possible.)
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To: KeyLargo
From the article

"And despite the unprecedented wealth of today's 65-and-older population, in 2003 the poverty rate among seniors was 10 percent. But that's lower than the 12.5 percent rate for the general population, and it's a big change from 1959, when more than a third of seniors lived below the poverty level, according to the report."

You really took this as a MSM attack on President Bush?

21 posted on 03/10/2006 9:21:27 AM PST by Doe Eyes
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To: presidio9
I'll be one of those 20% for sure. Not Bush's fault, though. I'll be working for the next 18 years or more, God willing, to get my last kid through college. My two oldest kids are pretty sharp, but lil ole Nate has taken advantage of having basically 4 adults in the house. He is one sharp little cookie, with a fantastic memory.

At 2 1/2, he knew the title cut from A Mighty Wind. A few months back, I taught him a six verse "jody" from Jump School.

Sorry for the bragging...it's just been so much fun watching him grow. He's keeping me young.

22 posted on 03/10/2006 9:25:05 AM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 3000 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: presidio9
growth in private pensions and Social Security and Medicare benefits...

But, I thought private pensions were the devils handmaidens and Bush had cut social secutiry and medicare to the point it was making people eat dog food... ??

23 posted on 03/10/2006 9:26:49 AM PST by BlueNgold (Feed the Tree .....)
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To: TOWER
But I wonder how many of these men saved for their own retirement (401Ks and whatnot) and were secure to retire when they did.

I'm one. I've been retired for 6 years and am 60 years old now.

I left behind coworkers who were old enough to receive social security but said they couldn't afford to retire because s.s. wasn't enough because they still had mortgage pymts, kids student loans,credit card debt etc.,they will probably work until they die, I have no pity for them.

24 posted on 03/10/2006 9:27:22 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for Sgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: presidio9

Hell, I'm not working past 2 pm today!


25 posted on 03/10/2006 9:30:15 AM PST by oldleft
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To: presidio9
If the socialist dems get one of the houses of congress and the white house back you CAN EXPECT this to come back. As soon as they have all three again at one time, you will not recognize your savings, retirement or bank accounts when they are done. Plus, you will work till you are 75, no early retirement. Socialist medicine, where you can visit A DOCTOR of the government's choice once every two or three years. You will wait months and years for simple dental work (I.E. the woman in England I think it was who waited over 18 months because of a bad tooth and got drunk and had a person pull the teeth with pliers.). You will be taxed out of your mind. You will lose freedoms. We will become EXACTLY like socialized Europe. COUNT ON IT!!! They win all three and this Republic is FINISHED. Period.
26 posted on 03/10/2006 9:32:32 AM PST by RetiredArmy (America is doomed to be socialist. Way too many people with palms pointed up!)
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To: norraad
It will go back up.

No it won't. Why work for money when you can vote for money?

27 posted on 03/10/2006 9:35:40 AM PST by xrp (Fox News Channel: MISSING WHITE GIRL NETWORK)
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To: Wisconsin

My immediate response to your tax scheme is that it is intriguing. There would likely be unforseen consequences that would screw it up (younger people shifting earnings to elders to evade taxes perhaps). The current system, I believe, takes away part of your SS payment if you earn over a certain trigger amount. Your scheme would do the same thing (the continuing workers would forgo SS benefits they would otherwise receive), but adds in an income tax break. As I say, intriguing, but at the cost of further complicating the IRS structure and procedures.


28 posted on 03/10/2006 9:38:18 AM PST by Stirner
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To: presidio9

I was GOING to keep working until age 70½, but circumstances came up, where leaving at age 64 became a much more attractive option.

1. I would have had to move, from a remote location where there was a great deal of autonomy, to a structured office environment.

2. One promotion had already been denied, and I had reconciled to the level where I was at.

3. Spouse fell ill, and was unable to work, partly because of illness exacerbated by the locality we were living in (high desert with cold winters).

4. I was offered an obscenely high price for the house I was living in at the time, so being of sound mind, we took the deal and squandered it all happily while moving to a more benign climate (sea level with subtropical seasons).

5. Got to where I can't afford to go back to work now....


29 posted on 03/10/2006 9:42:34 AM PST by alloysteel
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To: Graybeard58

Articles like these can be so infuriating. It would be really nice if they could gather statistics on some of the causes. I can think of a lot of reasons both for and against retiring. Many people retire at younger ages because they have worked hard, saved, and invested wisely and now want to enjoy that money. Of those I know in this category, none are depending on SS. More power to them! Some continue to work because they enjoy it. My grandmother ran her own business and worked 5 1/2 days a week until her she was 89. Some retire for health reasons. Some are forced out of the workplace because employers are bringing in younger and/or foreign workers who can be hired more cheaply.


30 posted on 03/10/2006 9:58:03 AM PST by generally (Ask me about FReepers Folding@Home)
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To: Night Hides Not

"At 2 1/2, he knew the title cut from A Mighty Wind."

That was a really good movie. That kind of humor cracks me up.


31 posted on 03/10/2006 10:04:46 AM PST by L98Fiero (I'm worth a million in prizes.)
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To: Wisconsin

That policy is already in place. I do not have the $$ amounts, but if you are receiving SS benefits and earn over a certain annual income, your SS benefits are taxed at 85%. Earn less and the benefits are taxed at 50% or not taxed.

For people who work 45 of their 65 years, they have paid their dues.....and after 65 they just keep paying.

sp


32 posted on 03/10/2006 10:11:07 AM PST by sodpoodle (I have no idea how I got here - but I like it and I plan to stay.)
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To: misterrob; ItsOurTimeNow; PresbyRev; tortoise; Fraulein; StoneColdGOP; Clemenza; malakhi; ...
Xer Ping

Ping list for the discussion of the politics and social (and sometimes nostalgic) aspects that directly effects Generation Reagan / Generation-X (Those born from 1965-1981) including all the spending previous generations (i.e. The Baby Boomers) are doing that Gen-X and Y will end up paying for.

Freep mail me to be added or dropped. See my home page for details and previous articles.

33 posted on 03/10/2006 10:17:28 AM PST by qam1 (There's been a huge party. All plates and the bottles are empty, all that's left is the bill to pay)
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To: Graybeard58

they still had mortgage pymts, kids student loans,credit card debt etc.,they will probably work until they die

It's not the lower income that will keep people working until they're ready to drop dead, it's the debt they've been encouraged to accumulate via our consumerism culture.

With no debt I've been retired for 5 years (not 65 yet) and live on SS and a small savings obtained by moving down out of a big wasteful home to a condo in a warm stable climate. My expenses are near zero. The only sacrifice I had to make is selling out of a high bloated real estate market into a lower cost market in the same state. Debt has kept most of my friends slaves to their jobs. They'll all croak on their jobs still being charged 23% interest on their credit cards, all maxed out to their limits and owing on second mortgages obtained to remodel huge homes and kitchens in which the microwave is the only appliance they use.

Debt will be the downfall of our nation


34 posted on 03/10/2006 10:20:37 AM PST by Joan Kerrey (what support is Sinclair giving to a candidate)
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To: .cnI redruM

Yeah, next thing they will be wanting free education and free meals for the ungrateful and bitching young punks who are griping the loudest about the old folks.


35 posted on 03/10/2006 10:22:17 AM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: presidio9
Hef is still "working".


36 posted on 03/10/2006 10:24:06 AM PST by petercooper (Cemeteries & the ignorant - comprising 2 of the largest Democrat voting blocs for the past 75 years.)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

Why not. They can legislate for that all they want. If the money does not exist, which it will not in another 15-20 years, it won't matter what benefits are enacted.


37 posted on 03/10/2006 10:26:32 AM PST by .cnI redruM (We need to banish euphemisms. Period. In fact, we need to employ hyperbole when possible.)
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To: L98Fiero
I'm sure you're aware of this, but the same "troupe" produced the following movies:

Best in Show
Waiting for Guffman

and last, but certainly not least, Spinal Tap.

"Guffman" is truly a sleeper.

38 posted on 03/10/2006 10:29:04 AM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 3000 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: .cnI redruM
Yeah, thats the ticket, make SS into welfare. S/

I worked my tail off, made a good income, I paid more into SS, so I draw a decent SS benefit. Another drug head non worker paid in less, so give him more and me less? If you are so generous, give up your own SS benefits, not mine.
39 posted on 03/10/2006 10:30:13 AM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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To: Graybeard58; TOWER

I had enough to pull the plug at age fifty. I did but started something entirely new. When I get tired of this I'll find something else to do. When SS kicks in it will be play money.


40 posted on 03/10/2006 10:30:22 AM PST by wtc911 (You can't get there from here)
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To: Ursus arctos horribilis

It's not a question of whether I'm generous. It's a question of whether there will be enough money for anyone to get the benefits. There are probably people all over the former Soviet Union right now gripping about how they worked hard for the Rodina their entire careers and now aren't getting their state sponsored pensions.


41 posted on 03/10/2006 10:31:57 AM PST by .cnI redruM (We need to banish euphemisms. Period. In fact, we need to employ hyperbole when possible.)
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To: presidio9

My dad is 67 and he works twice a week designing websites of all things. He is by far the oldest guy at his company. He was bored to tears in retirement.


42 posted on 03/10/2006 10:32:48 AM PST by jjm2111 (http://www.purveryors-of-truth.blogspot.com)
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To: Night Hides Not

Yeah, I've seen them all. Enjoyed them all. I saw "Guffman" jus the other night. Christopher Guest's character, "Corky" cracks me up!


43 posted on 03/10/2006 10:34:33 AM PST by L98Fiero (I'm worth a million in prizes.)
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To: L98Fiero

Christopher Guest's character, "Corky" cracks me up!

That woud be Lord Christopher Haden-Guest

44 posted on 03/10/2006 10:37:35 AM PST by presidio9 ("Bird Flu" is the new Y2K Virus -Only without the inconvenient deadline.)
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To: .cnI redruM
It's a question of whether there will be enough money for anyone to get the benefits.

Another good preview of the train wreck to come is in Europe. Declining birth rates, unsustainable increases in government programs, and crushing tax burdens on the productive...sounds like a recipe for disaster.

45 posted on 03/10/2006 10:40:27 AM PST by Night Hides Not (Closing in on 3000 posts, of which maybe 50 were worthwhile!)
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To: TOWER
But I wonder how many of these men saved for their own retirement

I did. That's why I retired at 60.

46 posted on 03/10/2006 10:42:59 AM PST by ol' hoghead (Some fiend stole my corkscrew. I've had nothing but food and water to live on this week)
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To: presidio9
You have to wonder how much of this is due to the downsizing of a few years ago. Many people in that "senior boomer" age group got offered what amounted to a modest version of a "golden parachute", to leave voluntarily, before each round of layoffs. Plus many were laid off. If you are past 50, and laid or retired from working in the same field, for which demand was already soft, it's not going to be that easy to find another job, at comparable pay. Many may have decided "to heck with it", took menial work to get over the hump of getting kids through college,etc, and then retired to a more modest lifestyle. Sold the big house, bought a smaller one (or a bigger one if they moved from a high housing cost area to a lower cost one).

I know several of the people I work with that are my age, or even a bit younger, (I'm 56) are planing on retiring in the next two or three years, because they've planned and are financially able to do so, but are sick and tired of their jobs too. Many of them have been since major upheavals in their jobs, including location changes, etc, starting in the early Clinton years.

47 posted on 03/10/2006 10:48:05 AM PST by El Gato
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To: Night Hides Not
>>>>Declining birth rates, unsustainable increases in government programs, and crushing tax burdens on the productive...sounds like a recipe for disaster.


Yeah, but these people all worked hard for these programs and deserve them. Never mind if there's no way in h--- we can possibly pay for them.
48 posted on 03/10/2006 10:51:58 AM PST by .cnI redruM (We need to banish euphemisms. Period. In fact, we need to employ hyperbole when possible.)
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To: sodpoodle

sodpoodle,

This is a little different. You keep working past retirment, forego 50% of your social security, pay no taxes.

You can reverse it and look at it the other way. We benefit if people keep working and don't draw social security. Why should we create a disincentive to do that by taxing their earnings?


49 posted on 03/10/2006 12:39:12 PM PST by Wisconsin
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To: .cnI redruM
Uh, take a look out an open window, this ain't the Soviet Union. But, if you are suggesting we go the commie way on no pay pension thingy, perhaps we soon will be.
50 posted on 03/10/2006 2:30:51 PM PST by Ursus arctos horribilis
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