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An Honest Boomer: Our Children Are Not Going To Be Able To Retire

Old 10-15-07, 03:33 PM
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An Honest Boomer: Our Children Are Not Going To Be Able To Retire

This is probably the first time I've seen an honest comment about the situation from someone in the boomer generation.

We've had alot of threads on SS and Medicare in this forum, but I found this report timely in that the first boomer is now eligible for early retirement (and is taking it) with millions more to follow. This is no longer a problem of "the future", the future is now.

Social Security Hits First Wave Of Boomers

When Kathleen Casey-Kirschling signs up for Social Security benefits Monday, it will represent one small step for her, one giant leap for her baby boom generation — and a symbolic jump toward the retirement system's looming bankruptcy.

Casey-Kirschling — generally recognized as the nation's first boomer (born in Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 1946, at 12:00:01 a.m.) — won't bankrupt the Social Security system by taking early retirement at 62. But after her, the deluge: 80 million Americans born from 1946 to 1964 who could qualify for Social Security and Medicare during the next 22 years.

The first wave of 3.2 million baby boomers turns 62 next year — 365 an hour. About 49% of the men and 53% of the women are projected to choose early retirement and begin drawing monthly Social Security checks representing 75% of the benefit they'd be entitled to receive if they waited four more years to retire.

It's a coming financial implosion that Washington hasn't mustered the will to confront. Fixing Social Security solely with higher taxes or cuts in spending would mean a 16% increase in the payroll tax or a 13% cut in benefits. Medicare's needs would be far greater: a 122% payroll tax hike or a 51% reduction in spending, just for hospital care.

"I can't imagine what's going to happen with our children and our grandchildren," Casey-Kirschling says. "They're not going to be able to retire."
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Old 10-15-07, 03:37 PM
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The article doesn't mention what she does for a living. Is she an expert? Does her opinion really matter?

And also, somebody stating an opinion you agree with is not the same as "being honest".
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Old 10-15-07, 03:39 PM
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Do the facts not speak for themselves?
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Old 10-15-07, 03:44 PM
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Does she mean that "Our children can't retire if their sole source of income during retirement is social security and the government doesn't do anything to change the way the system is now and the current projections remain valid until our children's retirement age?"

I guess that doesn't make as good a sound bite
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Old 10-15-07, 03:47 PM
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N.J. woman enjoys celebrity of being 1st baby boomer
By William M. Welch and Emily Bazar, USA TODAY
Posted 12/29/2005 10:30 PM Updated 12/30/2005 12:11 AM

Kathleen Casey-Kirschling says she's hardly a spokeswoman for her generation. But she has gotten used to being treated like one.



Kathy, as she prefers to be called, has become celebrated as the nation's first baby boomer — born, as The Philadelphia Inquirer heralded at the time, a second past the stroke of midnight in Philadelphia on Jan. 1, 1946.

As her 60th birthday approaches this New Year's Day, she's juggling newspaper and magazine interviews and delighting her five grandchildren with appearances on network TV. She has already taped segments for NBC's Today show and the CBS Evening News, and she is scheduled to go live on CNN on New Year's Day.

"I had no idea turning 60 was going to be so big," says the Cherry Hill, N.J., resident. "I guess the baby boomers turning 60 is a big milestone."

Demographers cite her birthday as the start of the post-World War II baby boom generation, a society-changing cohort of 79 million Americans born from 1946 through 1964 that was half again the size of the generation it followed.

For the past quarter-century, since a writer declared her the first boomer and described her as representative of the nation's most documented generation, Casey-Kirschling has seen her life story recounted with each new milestone of the population wave she leads.

While perhaps not a spokeswoman, she is at the vanguard of her generation's progress through life. She has shared much of its joy as well as pain — marriage, career, children, divorce, remarriage.

"I don't feel like I am a spokesman for the generation," she says. "But I have just a little part of every part of the generation in me. I am definitely a baby boomer, in the true sense of the word — the good and the bad."



She has become accustomed to reflecting on the times in which she has lived — the Vietnam War, assassinations, television, rock 'n' roll, drugs, the sexual revolution, Watergate, Iran, Enron, Iraq.

"I think our generation did many great things," she says. "And there are a lot of great people in our generation. They also did a lot of very negative and selfish things. We were self-absorbed. We had a lot of issues."

"I think we were lied to a lot along the way by our leaders," she says. "And something was happening all the time."

She doesn't have to be reminded that she shares a birth year with both President Bush and former president Bill Clinton, the first baby boomers to occupy the Oval Office and political bookends for their generation thus far.

She says she is neither a conservative nor a liberal but in the middle of American politics, a Democrat opposed to abortion who saw her first husband fight in Vietnam and who opposes the war in Iraq.

"I don't like the way the country's going right now," she says.

Casey-Kirschling never asked for the honor of representing her generation. The attention began with a book, Great Expectations: America and the Baby Boom Generation, published in 1980. Author Landon Y. Jones, who found her after seeing old newspaper accounts of her birth as a New Year's Day baby, depicted her as the face of a social phenomenon.

"She was my ur-boomer," Jones says in an article in the January 2006 Smithsonian magazine. Both acknowledge there may be others who claim or share the distinction of first boomer.

Her 40th birthday was recounted in Money magazine. Since then, the cardinal anniversaries of her birth have been preceded by media calls. Her latest birthday also led to a retelling of her life story by her local paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer.


"For the nation, the baby boomers turning 60 is monumental because of all the issues of health care and Social Security and nursing homes," she says.

The attention this time around has been easier to handle, because she's experienced at it and because age has brought perspective.

"My children and grandchildren told me, "Please do this, Mom,' " she says of the television attention.

"I think they think that it's kind of a neat thing. And also it'll be documented, so they'll have it when I'm not around, and that's kind of nice," she says.

"When I was 40, it was overwhelming," she says. "Now I'm old enough to know I can control it, who I talk to and what I say. When you're 60, you don't care. It's kind of fun. It really is."
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...t-boomer_x.htm

Edit: She even has an imdb.com listing.

Last edited by wishbone; 10-15-07 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 10-15-07, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
The article doesn't mention what she does for a living. Is she an expert? Does her opinion really matter?
Her husband is "a university professor." I didn't see any indication of what she might have done. I doubt she's an expert, and no, her opinion doesn't matter.

Originally Posted by Groucho
And also, somebody stating an opinion you agree with is not the same as "being honest".
I can see you've given this matter an honest look and I applaud your straight talk on the subject.
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Old 10-15-07, 03:47 PM
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alan greenspan on some news show said that the boomer retirement boom won't kill SS

medicare was another story
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Old 10-15-07, 03:49 PM
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So she's saying a baby boomer's child who is responsible enough to plan and save wisely won't be able to retire? Um, I think not.

If she's saying that a baby boomer's child won't be able to retire if they are solely depending on SS, then duh.


Before this comment:
"I can't imagine what's going to happen with our children and our grandchildren," Casey-Kirschling says. "They're not going to be able to retire."
the article says:
Casey-Kirschling and her husband say they're willing to do their part on behalf of their two daughters, who are socking money away for retirement because they don't expect much government help.
It seems like her daughters understand the concept of personal responsibility. I guess she doesn't have much faith in her daughters.
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Old 10-15-07, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
Do the facts not speak for themselves?
One thing I've learned about facts is that they can rarely if ever speak for themselves.
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Old 10-15-07, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
The article doesn't mention what she does for a living. Is she an expert? Does her opinion really matter?

And also, somebody stating an opinion you agree with is not the same as "being honest".

seventh grade teacher and a part time nutritionist
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Old 10-15-07, 03:55 PM
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I think a big problem is that SS gets into people's mindset as their primary retirement plan since it's not only used to support the indigent. Everyone's expectations are raised during the time they're "contributing" to it and the hard cold facts are ignored. Probably because the government would have a popular rebellion against SS to deal with if the real facts were known.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
One thing I've learned about facts is that they can rarely if ever speak for themselves.
Is it a fact that facts rarely if ever speak for themselves? And if so, does it speak for itself?

Just asking.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by X
I think a big problem is that SS gets into people's mindset as their primary retirement plan since it's not only used to support the indigent. Everyone's expectations are raised during the time they're "contributing" to it and the hard cold facts are ignored. Probably because the government would have a popular rebellion against SS to deal with if the real facts were known.
Exactly. SS was never meant to be the sole retirement for a person, it was supplemental. It should be enough to keep your rotting carcus off the sidewalk so the rest of us don't have to smell you. But a lot of people think that SS IS retirement.

If SS is completely bankrupted, I will still be retiring.

Man I get tired of the "gloom and doom" of all these things when people could just take the situation into their own hands.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
alan greenspan on some news show said that the boomer retirement boom won't kill SS

medicare was another story
That's not exactly what he said, but it's close.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:12 PM
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I think a big problem is that SS gets into people's mindset as their primary retirement plan

Isn't that because there was an article some time ago saying that most people aren't even bothering to save for retirement (not participating in 401K's or IRAs). Also, wasn't there some story about those who do participate only have an average savings of less than $50K?
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Old 10-15-07, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
That's not exactly what he said, but it's close.
Yeah, he thinks it should means tested.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
I think a big problem is that SS gets into people's mindset as their primary retirement plan

Isn't that because there was an article some time ago saying that most people aren't even bothering to save for retirement (not participating in 401K's or IRAs). Also, wasn't there some story about those who do participate only have an average savings of less than $50K?

And whose fault is that?
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Old 10-15-07, 04:14 PM
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fixed

Our Children Are Not Going To Be Able To Retire in the US *IF* they depend 100% on social security and refuse to live in a single wide trailer in the mid west
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Old 10-15-07, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by shifrbv
Isn't that because there was an article some time ago saying that most people aren't even bothering to save for retirement (not participating in 401K's or IRAs). Also, wasn't there some story about those who do participate only have an average savings of less than $50K?
They would if SS were only used on...err...for the poorest people, the ones who blew their retirement funds that they could have had if the government didn't confiscate 15% of their income in the first place. They could "contribute" a much lower percentage if SS only needed to support the people who really needed it.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
And whose fault is that?
Vacations, cell phones, SUV's, and going out to eat now are far more important than retirement savings, didn't you get the memo?
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Old 10-15-07, 04:16 PM
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We could always have the Bush fix.

I actually am not opposed to the idea of private accounts - if you can find a way to fund them rather than the Social Security Trust Fund, have at it.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
We could always have the Bush fix.

I actually am not opposed to the idea of private accounts - if you can find a way to fund them rather than the Social Security Trust Fund, have at it.

What's the point of having a private account w/ government involvement if you aren't going to take it out of SS? Just open an IRA or increase your 401K contribution.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:20 PM
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And whose fault is that?

Look at wabio's inflation thread. That may just have something to do with it. If young people can't afford a place to live right now, how on earth are they supposed to think about how they'll live in 60 years?

Last edited by shifrbv; 10-15-07 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
What's the point of having a private account w/ government involvement if you aren't going to take it out of SS? Just open an IRA or increase your 401K contribution.
I think the government is going to have to be involved in some way to make sure people actually do put the money away. I just want people to have more control over what the money is invested in and be able to "own" it, not just lease it until they die.
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Old 10-15-07, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by classicman2
We could always have the Bush fix.

I actually am not opposed to the idea of private accounts - if you can find a way to fund them rather than the Social Security Trust Fund, have at it.

I don't think it would be unreasonable for half of my SS to go to the "greater good" and half of it to go towards me. My guess is that you don't find that equitable.
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