Sunday, October 30, 2005

Retirement savings (a rant of sorts)

One of the various and sundry people who provide personal viewpoints on Sunday morning TV delivered an editorial this morning on the necessity of having personal retirement savings. Now I don't disagree with this and I'm pretty well resigned to working until I die because I no longer have any savings for retirement. Why is this? Well....

My late husband had early onset Alzheimer's disease (diagnosed in his early 50's). Neither his job nor mine provided any medical insurance let alone insurance to cover long term care. Once he could no longer be left home alone, I quit working to take care of him. The cost of home care was prohibitive - more than I was earning even with two jobs. His social security disability included Medicare, but medicare doesn't cover home health care, long term care, or prescriptions. Unfortunately he reached a point where I could no longer care for him so that both of us would be safe. Enter the long term care dilemma and using state Medicaid. This was the only way to provide him the necessary care, but excluding the house and including all monthly income, we were allowed....are you ready?.....$2500 in assests. By the time we took his social security income and the value of my car, we were at the limit. Note that any kind of insurance policy or prepaid burial was included in this assest limit. So I have no savings and will most likely not earn enough in the next ten years (theoretical retirement time) to save enough to even consider retirement. And by the way, I still have no medical insurance because I can not afford to pay for it with no access to a group policy. On the other hand I'm very healthy.

The sort of rant? We need to find a way around this kind of idiocy. I don't particularly want to lose half my income to taxes to cover health care and retirement, but the current situation is disastrous for many people. I'm lucky since I'm healthy, prefer working over sitting around getting old, and own my home. But what about the people who aren't as fortunate as I am? Are we going to end up with lots of homeless elderly people who have limited or no access to medical care? There are a lot of people who work hard all their lives, but are not in a position to save for retirement. They're called the working poor. Technically these days, I'm one of them.

That's all. And probably the only time I'll go political here. I much prefer math.


Teresa said...

As you say - there should be something... I'm just not sure what. The problem being that every single time the government sticks its nose in something - they totally screw it up. They waste 1000% of the money, then boost the funding going in, raise taxes, and last of all create such a paperwork mess that the people who really need the help can't get it... Only the people who don't need the help and are sneaky enough to outdo the system get the money.

MathCogIdiocy said...

I'm pretty clueless as to what which is why I can only rant. I suspect that any "solution" is going to be hugely unpopular with just about everyone.

Just to add to the idiocy - in today's mail was a statement from Social Security with info on my expected SS income at ages 62, 66, and 70. Then there was a line about the amount I would receive right now if I were disabled. That was the largest amount! What's wrong with this picture?

Teresa said...

Just think of it this way... if you were disabled and actually tried to collect - how far do you think you'd get? Yeah, they can put up nice numbers - but just try to get hold of it. *grin* Your government in action - teasing you with possibilities.