Sunday, July 18, 2010

On the Butt Crack of Retirement Age Reform

Yup, that's me. I'm sitting right on the butt crack of retirement age reform as of this moment. In 6 months, I turn 55, which by all accounts so far is the golden minimum protection age. *So far* meaning, that could certainly change. But as long as they don't change the current laws before March of 2011, or make them retroactive to before then, I stand a good chance of escaping having to wait to get SS benefits until I'm 70.

Since I don't work right now because of disability, that's gonna be a loonnngg wait. Even longer because I was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and therefore do not qualify for SS Disability. I may have to go suck it up and get a job and somehow barely hang onto it long enough to qualify for the ever-elusive benefit; then, hope I luck out and successfully fight to get approved for it, with a lawyer of course. Since I'm really not supposed to work, though, and I cannot even fathom being able to hold down a steady full time job for longer than a week, that would be a small miracle.

Up until now, I thought I was doing the right thing by not gaming the system. But, I've been following the D.C. chatter this past week about SS reform ideas being kicked around, and I'm fearing that I may need the Disability income to offset not getting my SS benefits when I'm supposed to. Talk about robbing Peter to pay Paul!

Ohio Congressman John Boehmer has been echoing Florida Senatorial candidate Marc Rubio this past week, saying that if he were elected Speaker in November (if the GOP takes the House, he probably will), then he will push for raising the retirement age and well as means testing for wealthy Americans. If you read my last blog post, you know that I wrote that I favor both of those. But now Boehmer is talking about 55 being the cut-off age and I'm like, WHAT? That's only about 10 years to adjust to that, and that's not enough time. Completely unfair!!!! I dunno, is he on crack? Jeez!

Now, here is a little factoid that I realized while reading about his remarks. He completely avoids listing raising the amount of wages that are subject to FICA tax. According to recent research, 50% of Americans support raising that ceiling, including the high wage earners who would be affected by it! 50% may seem like a low percentage, but when it includes the very people who would have to pay the tax, it means there is support for it. But typical Republican that he is, he doesn't even put that on the table. You can bet that Team Obama will, though. And, thank goodness for it. Cuz, the ceiling has not been raised in decades, and hey, my own husband exceeds it most years. When that happens, it's time to raise the sucker, trust me.

Furthermore, a whopping 78% of Americans oppose raising the retirement age and only 2% believe that SS is the cause of the deficit woes.

Man, if they take this issue on, there is gonna be one heckuva cat fight over it, and you may see me on the big screen nearest you right up there on Capitol Hill, clawing Boehmer's eyes out. Meow! winkwink