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U.S. business executives call for raising retirement age to 70

By zzyzzx   2013 Jan 17, 12:12am   7,845 views   68 comments   watch (1)   quote      

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-business-executives-call-raising-232942268.html

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A business group of top executives on Wednesday proposed reforms to Social Security and Medicare that would raise the enrollment age for both programs to 70.

This strategy for "modernizing and protecting our social safety net" would save $300 billion in Medicare spending over the next 10 years, make Social Security solvent for 75 years and help foster stronger economic growth, the group estimated.

The group would push the age at which full Social Security benefits are paid to 70 for those now aged 54 and under. Currently, the age for collecting full benefits depends on year of birth, Someone born between 1946 and 1953 can take full benefits at age 66. That will rise to age 67 for individuals born in 1960 or after.

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29   marcus   688/692 = 99% civil   2013 Jan 17, 10:58pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Kevin says

So we've seen an increase in life expectancy of 25%, but haven't increased retirement age at all. Raising retirement age by 5 years (7.5%!) seems perfectly reasonable to me.

Okay so its more like 10%, and the age has been increased to 67.

Compounding the problem of the 10% increase in life expectancy for a 50 year old is the huge bubble of the baby boom. This is a temporary problem though, so we don't have to penalize retirees forever for it.

I think means testing is going to have to happen, at least temporarily to get through the baby boom cohort. I also think the level of income that pays FICA has to go up again (even if just for 20 years to get us through the baby boom).

IF you raise the age to 70, it's going to hurt a lot of people. IT is their fault, but many boomer have not been saving enough. And now, the time when they maybe thought they would really be socking it away, their home values and job prospects dropped, while health care and college for their kids went up.

MAny boomers don't have nearly enough savings. The fact is many will need to be collecting SS at 65 or 67 and still working (some lower paying job in many cases) til 70 or well beyond. This is just a fact.

And this is money that will be spent in to our consumer driven economy by this huge cohort.

30   dublin hillz   14/14 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 1:51am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

zzyzzx says

We can't afford to keep people on Social Security that long!

Well, I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to also require that people contribute a certain amount to IRA, but you know that certain folks on the right will start yelling ish like "freedom", "communists", "out of control government" etc..

31   dublin hillz   14/14 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 2:01am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The bottom line is that fudging with retirement age won't really solve the underlying issue. Social security is supposed to be one of the buckets that funds your retirement. No one should bank on that source being your only avenue for retirement income. A critical part of retirement source mix is availability of pension whether public or private sector. That makes a huge difference. In fact you can calculate the market value of your pension if you multiply your yearly pension amount by 25!!! Additionally, it is very helpful to at least contribute to your 401K to max out the match and then max out Roth IRA. With SS/pension/401k/Roth, we are now talking about potential to match or exceed your income while you were working. That's what people need to be striving to. Simply counting on social security is a pathway to misery - at best you will live like a broke college students, but sex and drinking in your 70s may not be the same as when you were 18-22 lol.

32   turtledove     2013 Jan 18, 2:04am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Call it Crazy says

19. Millions of elderly Americans these days are finding it very difficult to survive on just a Social Security check. The truth is that most Social Security checks simply are not that large. The following comes directly from the Social Security Administration website...

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012. This amount changes monthly based upon the total amount of all benefits paid and the total number of people receiving benefits.

Could you live on about 300 dollars a week?

Social Security was never intended to be a retirement fund. It was intended to be a supplement.

33   finehoe     2013 Jan 18, 2:07am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

dublin hillz says

A critical part of retirement source mix is availability of pension whether public or private sector.

Unfortunately, the private sector pension has gone the way of the dinosaur, and Republicans are trying their best to make sure the same happens to public sector pensions.

34   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 2:12am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

turtledove says

Call it Crazy says

19. Millions of elderly Americans these days are finding it very difficult to survive on just a Social Security check. The truth is that most Social Security checks simply are not that large. The following comes directly from the Social Security Administration website...

The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012. This amount changes monthly based upon the total amount of all benefits paid and the total number of people receiving benefits.

Could you live on about 300 dollars a week?

Social Security was never intended to be a retirement fund. It was intended to be a supplement.

I agree Social Security wasn't intended to be lavish; it was intended to make sure people wouldn't have to worry about going hungry in their old age, in an era when housing and medical costs were comparatively cheap. Unfortunately now government policy is deliberately increasing the cost of housing ("helping homeowners" with QE, ZIRP, Operation Twist, Fannie & Freddie, Federal Home Loan Banks) and medical costs (Rx mandate, insurance requirements, etc.). Social Security recipients are required to pay for Medicare, even if they think it's a bad idea and don't want it, like a bully taking kids' lunch money. Many retirees choose to emigrate to countries where housing and medical costs aren't deliberately inflated like they are here (e.g. Mexico).

35   dublin hillz   14/14 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 2:18am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

curious2 says

Unfortunately now government policy is deliberately increasing the cost of
housing ("helping homeowners" with QE, ZIRP, Operation Twist, Fannie &
Freddie, Federal Home Loan Banks) and medical care (Rx mandate, insurance
requirements, etc.).

Zirp definitely hurt retirees trying to live off fixed income via interest rates in CDs, savings accounts, but at the same time it allowed their 401K/IRA balances to recover which may be even more important.

36   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 2:22am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

dublin hillz says

Zirp definitely hurt retirees trying to live off fixed income via interest rates in CDs, savings accounts, but at the same time in allowed their 401K/IRA balances to recover which may be even more important.

I agree about the short-term effects but there is an issue of long-term risk and principle. Government should not be insuring the stock market. Investors approaching retirement have been advised for decades to reduce exposure to the stock market and shift into fixed income, for the simple reason that stock market prices have always fluctuated. Now we have the opposite situation, where the federal government is sacrificing the stability of the currency in order to stabilize the stock market. It's the tail wagging the dog, and replacing market risk with systemic risk.

37   zzyzzx   571/571 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 3:34am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

dublin hillz says

The bottom line is that fudging with retirement age won't really solve the underlying issue

Correct. A better economy could. IMO, this won't happen until we see the return of import duties in a significant way.

38   finehoe     2013 Jan 18, 4:09am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

zzyzzx says

this won't happen until we see the return of import duties in a significant way.

Nor will it happen until the criminals who control the banking system are jailed.

39   zzyzzx   571/571 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 4:13am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

finehoe says

Nor will it happen until the criminals who control the banking system are jailed.

Exactly how does that increase employment levels???

40   finehoe     2013 Jan 18, 4:34am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

zzyzzx says

Exactly how does that increase employment levels???

To quote Jesse, "the Banks must be restrained, and the financial system reformed, with balance restored to the economy, before there can be any sustainable recovery."

41   TwoScoopsMcGee   1270/1270 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 8:47am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Kevin says

The maximum Social Security payout would have to be increased substantially to make things fair, even under the current system where lower income workers extract more money than they contribute and higher income workers tend to extract less money than they contribute.

But back to the original post, it's laughable that a bunch of 0.001% earners who by general consensus are vastly overpaid would suggest extending the retirement age to 70.

To me, Progress means we steadily lower the hours worked while lowering the retirement age.

If computers and tech is so wonderful, how come the efficiency benefits aren't trickling down?

The reason the rich are getting so very rich is because the middle and working classes are getting less or the same, despite efficiency increasing - the wealthy are keeping most of the efficiency improvements for themselves - even though most of the efficiency comes from a better trained (mostly at their own college loan expense) workforce.

Wages haven't moved much in Purchasing Power since the 80s, but more is expected to be paid by the employee (higher medical contribs, no more defined benefit retirement, training themselves instead of getting paid to train on company time at company expense,etc.) Yet the income for the top 1% has exploded.

And now we're expected to work longer? Fiddlesticks.

42   Kevin     2013 Jan 18, 12:26pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

thunderlips11 says

To me, Progress means we steadily lower the hours worked while lowering the retirement age.

Why would we lower the retirement age? People should be engaged in something productive for as long as physically possible. Ceasing to work is to cease to live.

thunderlips11 says

If computers and tech is so wonderful, how come the efficiency benefits aren't trickling down?

They certainly are. 50 years ago, most americans worked in jobs requiring physical labor. Today hardly anybody does.

thunderlips11 says

The reason the rich are getting so very rich is because the middle and working classes are getting less or the same, despite efficiency increasing - the wealthy are keeping most of the efficiency improvements for themselves - even though most of the efficiency comes from a better trained (mostly at their own college loan expense) workforce.

The reason the rich are staying rich ("getting" is a different issue entirely) is because as a society we refuse to tax wealth other than modest land taxes.

43   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 18, 4:30pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

One should find his passion and devote his life to it. Retirements sounds good only if someone has been whoring his life away.

44   zzyzzx   571/571 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 12:27am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Kevin says

The reason the rich are staying rich ("getting" is a different issue entirely) is because as a society we refuse to tax wealth other than modest land taxes.

IMO, the reason the rich are getting richer is because the middle and lower classes income aren't keeping up with inflation so in relative terms, it looks like the rich are getting richer. IMO, this is because there are a lot fo stupid people who who routinely buy stuff made in China and made in USA prices. The factories were moved to China and for the most part, prices remained the same. For example, Craftsman tools aren't any cheaper now that they are made in China. When the lower and middle class lost their jobs due to outsourcing and rampant imports, their wages went down in relative terms.

45   zzyzzx   571/571 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 1:30am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Kevin says

The reason the rich are staying rich ("getting" is a different issue entirely) is because as a society we refuse to tax wealth other than modest land taxes.

You mean like Al Gore, right?
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/al-gore-nets-another-fortune-164510966.html

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchanges Commission, Gore -- a director on Apple's board -- exercised an option to purchase nearly 60,000 shares of the tech giant at the bargain basement price of $7.48, costing him a total of about $445,000.

But with Apple's current market price at about $500 a share, Gore's holdings are worth $29.75 million, giving him a huge windfall-on paper at least.

46   Vicente     2013 Jan 19, 2:42am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The Professor says

population growth is reaching the limits of the world's finite resources.

Population growth is flattening and will peak soon. It may even become negative for a bit. Ignorance on this is epidemic.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html

47   marcus   688/692 = 99% civil   2013 Jan 19, 3:11am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Hadn't seen that one. Very interesting.

48   Kevin     2013 Jan 19, 5:26am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Population is flattening because in an industrial society children are more of a burden than a benefit.

If you own a farm, more kids means more free labor. If you live in a city, more kids means a bigger, more expensive home, more food, more education expenses, more medical care, more clothing etc.

Machines and electronics are the reason

This is why it won't be a big deal when we all live forever.

49   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 5:35am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Kids are net liabilities.

50   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 5:56am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Peter P says

Kids are net liabilities.

That depends on your perspective. For the middle class, who are working to pay for artificially inflated housing and medical and education costs, yes, and that demographic is not reproducing at replacement level. For the top 1%, the costs are effectively trivial and don't even add up to the entertainment value, so that demographic is reproducing and lobbyists demand an end to estate taxes too. For AFDC/TANF and other public assistance families, kids can be a revenue source, and they are also reproducing and demanding more $ from government. In a democracy one might expect demographics to drive economic policy, but in America's lobby-driven democracy the reverse occurs: economic policy is driving demographics.

51   marcus   688/692 = 99% civil   2013 Jan 19, 7:45am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The Professor says

When one person lives through 3 or 4 generations there is bound to be a sticky human buildup. Death is not keeping up with birth. Barring plague or common sense, population will continue to grow.

later...

The Professor says

Maybe it (population) is flattening because we are reaching the limits of our resources?

Dude, watch the fricking video. He will hold your hand through understanding, in a way that most 10 year olds could grasp.

Vicente says

Population growth is flattening and will peak soon. It may even become negative for a bit. Ignorance on this is epidemic.

http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_religions_and_babies.html

No offense, but you aren't worthy of the name "the professor."

52   marcus   688/692 = 99% civil   2013 Jan 19, 7:55am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The Professor says

Maybe it (population) is flattening because we are reaching the limits of our resources?

Kevin says

Population is flattening because in an industrial society children are more of a burden than a benefit.

Both of these are factors. Yes, people don't have as many kids because they don't need them for labor on the farm. But that was already true in the sixties (in the U.S.)

Making a living has gotten much harder since the sixties. Or put differently, it's harder to afford having 5 or 7 kids. In the US, two incomes is barely higher than what one income could buy for a family 50 years ago. The rest of the developed world must be somewhat the same. This would be in part because of limited resources, but also because of a evening out trend with the third world (ie manufacturing etc going there).

The biggest factor: If the mother has to work, it's harder for her to be in the full time child rearing business.

But yeah, in the developing world, a big part of the drop in children per family since the sixties is probably more related to people leaving farms.

Of course China is a special case with their laws on how many children they can have.

53   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 9:28am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The Professor says

marcus says

No offense, but you aren't worthy of the name "the professor."

OK. I forgive your condescending attitude.

The acid test is can you forgive marcus for claiming to be a teacher?

54   marcus   688/692 = 99% civil   2013 Jan 19, 10:53am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

In a way, I'm flattered that curious2 has so much respect for teachers that he thinks I couldn't be one.

On the other hand, his saying that, is based totally his feelings towards me, rather than on a belief that what I say makes me sound too stupid, or too lazy to be a teacher.

I don't see his comments anymore, but I'm sure that those who do are well aware of some of his emotional challenges.

55   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 11:06am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

marcus says

what I say makes me sound too stupid, or too lazy to be a teacher.

Yes it certainly does, and the tantrums of false accusations and profanity do not reflect the maturity required of a teacher, and especially the logic required of a math teacher.

For example, in one thread, notice who posted the first comment and several others before marcus arrived. Then observe marcus' name-calling tantrum accusing that same person of following him to that thread just to troll him. Marcus never apologized for that, nor for any of his other false accusations no matter how obviously illogical.

Or consider marcus creating a whole additional thread demanding the ignore functionality be changed because he had "ridiculous trouble" opening a separate browser to stalk someone he was pretending to "Ignore." He still does that, replying to my comments while pretending to "Ignore" me.

So yes, those comments and others make it impossible for me to believe his claim to be a teacher. My only feeling about it is amusement. If I actually believed him, and had a kid in his district, I would feel sad. On one point we agree though: I do respect actual teachers. So, perhaps I should appreciate marcus' pretending to be a teacher as an aspirational choice, like a kid wearing a fireman's helmet and making siren sounds.

56   marcus   688/692 = 99% civil   2013 Jan 19, 11:24am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Well, I can see this from the front page, even with ignore on

"curious2 says marcus says what I say makes me sound too stupid, or too lazy to be a teacher. Yes it certainly does, and the tantrums of false accusations and profanity do not reflect the..."

If I were curious enough to open another browser, to see the rest of his drivel, and worse if I were to respond, I would probably have him following me around again for a week, talking about how I can't be a teacher, and his other nonsense.

Whatever. What do you want c2 ? My sysmpathy ?

marcus says

I don't see his comments anymore, but I'm sure that those who do are well aware of some of his emotional challenges.

57   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 11:25am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

marcus says

What do you want c2 ?

Either quit pretending to "Ignore" me, or start actually ignoring me, or both.

What do you want marcus? I don't expect an answer though, since that would conflict with pretending to "Ignore" me.

Back to the original topic, if by some incredible mischance marcus turns out to be a teacher, I will retract my disbelief and extend my sincere hope that he can retire early instead of continuing to age 70.

58   monkframe   1/1 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 12:52pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

"IF you raise the age to 70, it's going to hurt a lot of people. IT is their fault, but many boomer have not been saving enough. And now, the time when they maybe thought they would really be socking it away, their home values and job prospects dropped, while health care and college for their kids went up"

No, it's not their goddamned fault, it is the mass transfer of wealth upward. Any later retirement age for Social Security will hurt lots of people, but the rentier class will continue to do fine, THANK YOU SUCKERS!

59   HEY YOU   642/642 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 1:09pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

"raising retirement age to 70" for all Republicans,Conservatives & Tea Baggers. Bet you RCTBs didn't think it would affect you. Still for Big Business?

60   New Renter     2013 Jan 19, 1:41pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Kevin says

Why would we lower the retirement age? People should be engaged in something productive for as long as physically possible. Ceasing to work is to cease to live.

Ah yes, I think I've heard this kind of talk before:

Yep, that's it!

But seriously Kevin, there is far more to life than "work" . If you think "work is life" you REALLY need to get out more.

61   New Renter     2013 Jan 19, 1:45pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

marcus says

No offense, but you aren't worthy of the name "the professor."

Smoke some serious product - he'll make more sense that way

62   Kevin     2013 Jan 19, 1:45pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

New Renter says

Kevin says

Why would we lower the retirement age? People should be engaged in something productive for as long as physically possible. Ceasing to work is to cease to live.

Ah yes, I think I've heard this kind of talk before:

Yep, that's it!

HEY YOU KNOW WHO ELSE ATE FOOD AND BREATHED AIR? NAZIS!

Dumb fucking arguments are for dumb fucking people.

63   Vicente     2013 Jan 19, 2:36pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

curious2 says

For AFDC/TANF and other public assistance families, kids can be a revenue source, and they are also reproducing and demanding more $ from government.

This is playing to the Idiocracy Myth, which comes from the Welfare Queen Myth. It boils down to assuming poor people are genetically inferior and will drag down humanity by outbreeding the superior Whites.... excuse me I mean their betters. In fact poor kids generally speaking aspire to chase the American Dream just like others in their cohort. Doesn't every other RICH FATCAT have an Origin Myth about how they started their life living in a dirt shack and look how far they've come?

64   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 2:56pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Vicente says

This is playing to the Idiocracy Myth, which comes from the Welfare Queen Myth. It boils down to assuming poor people are genetically inferior and will drag down humanity by outbreeding the superior Whites.

Can you cite any sources or explain what you mean? How do you get from the observation that the middle class aren't keeping up with replacement rate to a conclusion that whites are genetically superior? Even after reading several articles on this topic, I haven't seen anyone but you jump to a conclusion anything like that. Most articles that do mention race in this context focus on the significant drop among immigrant women, most of whom are Hispanic.

65   New Renter     2013 Jan 19, 3:08pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Kevin says

New Renter says

Kevin says

Why would we lower the retirement age? People should be engaged in something productive for as long as physically possible. Ceasing to work is to cease to live.

Ah yes, I think I've heard this kind of talk before:

Yep, that's it!

HEY YOU KNOW WHO ELSE ATE FOOD AND BREATHED AIR? NAZIS!

Dumb fucking arguments are for dumb fucking people.

Wow, musta struck a nerve there!

66   Vicente     2013 Jan 19, 4:42pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

curious2 says

How do you get from the observation that the middle class aren't keeping up with replacement rate to a conclusion that whites are genetically superior?

Your post seemed to me to take the usual "welfare queen" tack, that unfit parents were being assisted to breed more unfit children, and soon we'd be drowning in welfare brats. Like rabbits.

People are not rabbits. Many successful adults came from poor backgrounds.

Frankly it is nonsense that the middle class will be "outbred" and cease to exist. Pure nonsense. The middle class might be compressed due to economic pressures, but AS A CLASS would always exist no matter which set of individuals composed it.

I'm not sure why it's so American to assume that you ARE in fact middle class, or should aspire to be labelling yourself that. I'm a citizen of the United States, I aspire to live a useful and interesting life not belong to a particular class.

67   curious2   597/597 = 100% civil   2013 Jan 19, 6:31pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Vicente says

Your post seemed to me

That probably says more about you than about the post itself. You still haven't cited any sources. In any event, as you seem to understand, the "middle" must inevitably exist. Yet, there can be significant variations in the shape of distribution, from hourglass to pyramid to circle. Many have observed a change in shape, although you seem alone in projecting your particular choice of color onto it.

68   Kevin     2013 Jan 20, 10:58am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

There is no need for a middle to exist. It's quite possible for there to be zero people making a certain income range. Say 1% of the population makes over a million per year while 99% makes just enough to not starve.

But 'middle of the income range' isn't what defines the middle class anyway.

The term first came in to use to describe people who had money, but acquired it through building up businesses rather than the inherited wealth of the aristocracy.

As the aristocracy disappeared, it came to mean a person who was able to live comfortably, but was dependent on their labor (business income or salary) to maintain their quality of life. The upper class isn't dependent on their labor (and, in many cases, isn't even dependent on income of any sort). The lower class lives hand to mouth (or "paycheck to paycheck").

So, yeah, somebody making $400,000 a year without any meaningful assets to fall back on is still middle class, despite having higher income than 99% of the population.

That group of well off but wage dependent people could disappear, but they probably won't.

Vicente says

I'm not sure why it's so American to assume that you ARE in fact middle class, or should aspire to be labelling yourself that.

Simple: Nobody wants to be seen as a member of the aristocracy, but nobody wants to be poor, either.

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