Of all the most reliable political footballs to kick around, the venerable and largely misunderstood Social Security system tends to get a lot of play – especially as election season begins to roll around, as it will for the next (what I will call miserable) 11 and a half months.
Social Security gets a bad rap, especially among pre-retirees or younger workers such as myself who believe – perhaps not so wrongly – that the benefits we’ve paid into the system will be long gone by the time our own retirement age rolls around.
Even labeling the benefits as an “entitlement” opens up a fierce semantic can of worms. True, the system is an entitlement program, but the word itself can be spat out with such a scowl and a sneer by certain candidates that you’d feel more socialistic than a Norwegian pensioner to have the gall to collect a check at all. That you paid for. By working your whole life.
A recent piece over at the AARP (an organization you may approach with same sort of feelings you have for Suze Orman, which is a shame because the AARP carries a huge membership and nearly as much political clout as our own industry) had some interesting insights about Social Security.