The argument the article made was that by raising the retirement age the poor, who depended more on social security benefits than the wealthy, would lose out on most or all of their retirement while the wealthy would still be able to retire because they had their own personal funds to live on. The article then goes on to discuss some very feasible methods for fixing the unfunded liability behind the social security benefits.
History of Social Security
Social Security was originally established in 1935 with the passing of the Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI). At the time it was established the retirement age was 65, it then raised gradually over the following 25 years to the age of 67 in 1960. Simultaneously the life expectancy age of us raised from 59 to 60 years old in 1935 to 66 to 67 years old in 1960. Notice that the retirement age for men was above their life expectancy in both 1935 and 1960, although the gap closed significantly towards the end of that time period.
In 1998 the life expectancy age has risen to 73.8 among men in the US. This is a few years above the retirement age. In fact, if you kept the same gap in retirement age versus the life expectancy age in the US you would find that the retirement age we be between 72 and 80 years old, far above its current level at 67.
A nation should be all about helping the needy and the elderly; however, it should not be overly anxious about inflicting large burdens on those who have worked hard to enjoy an early retirement. If the retirement age continues in its current direction the US will find that it is unsustainable with so many of the baby boomer generation retiring. In a Biblical reference Adam is told that he should eat his bread by the sweat of his brow; not by the sweat of his brother’s brow.
If individuals would like to enjoy an early retirement they need to rely on their own personal savings rather than relying on the government. If one simply saves $500 into a retirement account, without an employer contribution plan, from the time they are 25 year old to the age of 65 years old they will have between $2 million and $3 million, depending on the rate of return that is earned. This amount is far more than what is needed to retire.