Social Security… isn’t that an oxymoron? I mean… anyone who believes that Social Security is going to provide anywhere near the monthly $$ that you need to live when you retire is just that… a moron! By the time I’m "ready" to retire, the age at which a person can start taking Social Security benefits will be 72. Now that’s not official by any means, but that’s just my guess. The chances of me getting 100% of the money that I put into Social Security back in my lifetime? Probably 10% or less.
The people who went into professions that provide pensions were smart! Not having to save for your own retirement because someone else will take care of you… sounds pretty damn sweet. Now, if you believe that the pension will take care of you and think that some corporate bigwig won’t raid the pension fund or cause the pension to go unfunded in any way… think again. In this age of corporate greed, increasing the bottom line, and screwing the average Joe worker… I’d be nervous about my pension if I had one.
As it is, I’m nervous about affording to retire. If I’m in good health, I plan on working until I’m 72. What else would I have to do? The kids will (hopefully) be living elsewhere, and I’ll be bored out of my mind with hanging around the house and doing nothing. If I keep working until I’m 72, I should have enough money around (in IRAs, 401(k)s, and "savings") to live for 20 years. Past that, I’ll just rely on the government to keep me alive in some old folks home until I die.
Right now, I’m enjoying myself by spending money on vacations and expensive toys (like this here awesome 18" widescreen HP Pavilion dv8t laptop!). I figure I might as well enjoy my life while I can. Let the future take care of itself in some ways. I don’t need to plan everything out for 30+ years from now. Hell, things will be different 10 years from now, so why bother worrying??
You know, all it takes is one bad turn of luck… one medical issue that consumes your life for several years or a disabling accident that required several months (or a year +) of rehabilitation… and things will be drastically different. Enjoy today, enjoy tomorrow, and try to look forward to the immediate future ’cause you NEVER know when it will turn on you and become overwhelming and unmanageable.
All I want to add to that is, when I’m unemployed through no fault of my own, I hope that I get 99 weeks of unemployment benefits like all the millions of people get these days. If I get just the standard 26 weeks, I’m gonna be PISSED.
That’s enough pontification for now.