The Conservative View
by Russell Turner
Handwriting on the Wall
I guess it is just a part of human nature for us when we are young to believe that we will never grow old and we will always be strong and energetic. I am reminded of an old story in the Bible about an ancient king being warned by a hand that appeared and wrote a message of warning to the king. As I see a little more grey hair each day, I also see the need to prepare for the day when I can no longer work yet still have the income to live a modest but comfortable life. As a conservative I believe in personal responsibility and the using of good fiscal sense, if we don’t see the handwriting on the wall we are all going to pay a huge price in our so-called golden years.
A lot of people have faith in some retirement system either from Social Security or some state retirement plan. Both of the systems are experiencing problems and I feel that the problems will only get worse. In the case of Social Security, the baby boomers are retiring and the number of those paying and those receiving are getting closer together every day. Another fact; the retiring baby boomers were paying more into Social Security because many of them were at their peak salary. In the case of many of the state retirement systems, the contributions were borrowed from by the lawmakers who were in charge of the system to fund other government projects or the funds were invested in a falling stock market.
Some states are already raising the retirement age to prolong the inevitable reductions of benefits. Social Security is also facing a train wreck, we have heard the warnings for years but very few politicians have the will power to do the things necessary to fix the problem. I do know that we Americans have gotten into the mentality that problems can be fixed in a year or two, but we are facing decades of sacrifice in order to correct the problem. I have noticed that many Americans are unwilling to make the sacrifices; far too many of us have the mentality of just let someone else take the hit and leave me alone. For those of us that can see the handwriting on the wall, we know that we need not rely upon the government but to rely upon our own abilities to provide for ourselves in our later years.
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