Saturday, August 18, 2012

Washington Post readers debate whether seniors are really "well off"; where is breakpoint year for social security?


The Washington Post ran some “letters to the editor” on p A20 Friday (Aug. 17), with the caption, “A closer look at seniors’ wealth”, with the basic link here.  The letters look back to an Aug. 14 piece, “don’t feel sorry for America’s elderly”.

It’s true that many of today’s retirees amassed their nest eggs when the economy was more stable and when, particularly, their homes were appreciating. People in their 50s who are working today (or struggling for re-employment) have no such luxury.  That point is well taken.

There is a comment that people who retired as late as 2010 might recover the actuarial value of what they (and their employers and spouses) had poured into FICA.  I’ve read other pieces that say that the breakaway year was something like 1997. In my own case, the “end” came at the end of 2001, shortly after 9/11, and it appears that for me, the breakeven year occurs when I am about 78.

Even Paul Ryan, with his sudden appeal Saturday to momism, seems to be vocal now about protecting everyone now over 55. 

The link for all the Post stories is here.  

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