David Dunn-Rankin

David Dunn-Rankin

Many of our readers are on a limited income. Medicare for insurance and Social Security for living expenses. That’s why I am so distressed at the cavalier attitude of our elected officials in Washington, D,C., with the future of Medicare and Social Security. Let’s start with the bad spot we are in with Social Security.

Currently, Social Security has about $2.9 trillion available to pay Social Security benefits. That sounds like a lot, but by 2034,all the savings plus any contributions in the meantime will be gone. If you are 70 now, when you are 82, oops, there is no trust fund left to pay you.

If nothing else changes,  your Social Security Benefits will be cut by 23% for the rest of your life. That is the only way you can keep receiving money, based on current contributions to the plan. Whatever you were counting on to help you get by is now significantly smaller. About one-fourth of our retirees count on Social Security for at least 90% of their income.  

The man who wants to be president, Ron DeSantis, does not have a plan to fix Social Security. Two other men who want to be president, U.S. Senators from Florida Marco Rubio and Rick Scott don’t have a plan to fix Social Security.  President Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Charlie Crist don’t have the plan to fix Social Security either. Why not?

If you are not yet retired, but are in your fifties or sixties, you will need to work longer and save more money than you had expected unless this Social Security shortfall is fixed. If you are close to retirement, you should be intensely aware that your Social Security benefits might be 23% less than you and your advisor are planning on.

If you are in your twenties or thirties, is it even possible to plan on any Social Security with how our leaders in Washington D.C. are treating your retirement nest egg? I am embarrassed that Democrats and Republicans think this is how to treat our seniors. How about you?

There are only two ways to fix this Social Security mess. Gradually increase the retirement age or increase taxes. Our spineless politicians know this and choose to kick the can down the road imperiling your retirement future.  

Perhaps, dear reader, you think that you are owed your Social Security. You paid the taxes, and you should get your money back in retirement …with interest. Our Supreme Court (Flemming v. Nestor) has ruled that Congress has no contract requirements with the people who paid into Social Security. Whether you get your money back with interest or get not one dime back, ever, can be changed by Congress at their sole discretion.

Medicare, which retirees use for their healthcare, runs out of money even earlier, in 2028. Six years from now. What’s the plan by our Republican and Democrat leaders to fix this problem? Nada. Zippo. Zilch.

Medicare will not go away entirely, but how much money each retiree will get towards their healthcare will be cut. If you are part of the 60% of our retirees who receive the bulk of their retirement income from Social Security and rely on inexpensive Medicare coverage, what will you do?

How can your elected officials in Washington, D.C., be so irresponsible? Their recklessness knows no bounds. It’s both Democrats and Republicans.  

Memo to the inconsiderate, reckless people in D.C.:  Once someone is retired, they can’t simply make up a shortfall from Social Security and Medicare they had previously planned on. We made a commitment to our retirees, and for politicians to treat them so caustically is awful.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts.

David Dunn-Rankin may be reached at: David@d-r.media

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