With all the recent talk about reforming Social Security, it is only natural that the plans of three Texas counties will come into the spotlight. I’ve talked about them before. Over a year ago. Guess that makes me a progressive thinker or something. Regardless, this article has some good points when looking at those plans as a model.
First and foremost, if you withdraw money, you will have less when you retire. Does anyone really need to be told this basic fact? One retiree on one of these plans currently receives far less from the local plan than she would have if she was in Social Security. But that’s because she took some money out of the plan while she was still working. Apparently the plan no longer allows withdrawals.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, Social Security is designed as a safety net. It’s not designed to handle any and every bill you encounter as a retiree, and pay for you to continue life in the way to which you’ve grown accustomed. If you want to do that, try saving some money on your own to supplement Social Security.
The word is security, folks. That means that you can be secure that you’ll have something. It doesn’t say that you’ll be well off, or be able to pay the mortgage on your McMansion, but instead that you’ll have a lifeline from which to draw.
Frankly, I think the reform is looking in the wrong direction. Too many people have come to feel that Social Security is indeed a source of income for later years, and that couldn’t be more wrong. To change this perception, let the government build standard housing for seniors, where they can have their housing and food needs met, and where they can even receive medical care. Then drop Social Security entirely.
If people are unable to save for themselves, give them something. I’m all for that. I’m a giving person. But why give them everything?