Growing Old With Security
Social Security is a Government run savings and insurance program you get the joy of paying into your entire working life, but leaves you wondering the entire time if it will be there for you when you become disabled or retire.
People throughout all of human history have faced uncertainties brought on by unemployment, illness, disability, death and old age. These inevitable facets of life are all threats to one’s economic security.
Family members and relatives have always felt some degree of responsibility to one another, and to the extent that the family had resources to draw upon, it was the most available form of economic security, especially for the aged or handicapped.
At the turn of the century most people still relied on each other for financial help in times of poverty and illness. Families pulled together their resources and helped each other defray expenses when the need arose, including the death of a member. Neighbors also helped neighbors!
Later as the industrial revolution expanded job opportunities, a lot of economic security came from fraternal organizations and trade unions. Many fraternal organizations are still active in community life and provide a wide range of benefits to their members. Pension plans and insurance plans through employers are also major economic contributors to today’s society.
Economic security affects all ages and classes of society, but one particular aspect is old age and the needs of working people as they retire from long lives of labor.
Social insurance, as conceived by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, would later address the permanent problem of economic security for the elderly by creating a work-related, contributory system in which workers would provide for their own future economic security through taxes paid while employed.
The proper method of safeguarding old age is clearly through savings, investments and some plan of insurance. The intelligent course for the majority is to combine with other wage earners to accumulate a common fund out of which old-age benefits are paid to those who live long enough to earn it.
The history of social security for American Families is a long one that expands several decades with various changes occurring since it’s inception. Some good and some bad, however the one original and most instrumental element of success for the program is it’s dependency on employees and employer contributions. With out those two facets of the program social security would not survive. Most people are aware that there are annual increases in Social Security benefits to offset the corrosive effects of inflation on fixed incomes. These increases, now known as Cost of Living Allowances (COLAs) are designed to keep beneficiaries in line with an ever growing economy. However, as most know, when benefits rise so do premiums and most end up with less than before. Medicare seems to always take more than the increase and the recipients end up farther behind.
The program continues to change through the course of time to meet the needs of it’s beneficiaries. While some believe the country should go to a private investment plan to replace the current system, they would be wise to leave well enough alone and study history to see the results of a country that failed it’s citizens for so long prior to implementation of the program.
We don’t want to return to the days of state pensions, poor farms and dependency on friends and family for assistance in time of poverty and illness. As of this writing social security COLA increases for next year (2020) are estimated to be around 5.5 to 6.2 percent, which would be the largest increase since the 2008. The average increase could be in the neighborhood of $100 per month. The main thing to remember is the money is not a handout, it is a benefit resulting from money earned through the labor of America’s hard working men and women.
As we just celebrated the last official holiday of summer ‘Labor Day’ we can be thankful for the sacrifices of those laborers who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make America the greatest nation in the world.