Friday, February 04, 2005

so here we go.....

My mother went to work in 1926 for the Peninsualar Telephone Company in Tampa, Florida which, through several permutations, has now become Verizon. She worked there for some 11 years, then took off and worked across the country and during the war and after the war and until 1951 when I made my presence known. She then became a stay at home mom, much to her horror. It was not until 1969, or thereabouts, that she was able to go back to work. She would have been 61 or 62 or so.

Sometime in those interim years social security, of which she would have been a charter member, was reconfigured and wiped out all contributions before a certain date that I'm unaware of. But my mother always says thank goodness she went back to work (which was all she ever wanted to do, really) for that last decade or she would have had no social security benefits at all. That was all she had to live on besides the proceeds of the sale of my childhood home, which put a largeish downpayment on this house and gave her some CDs, the interest on which she used to augment her social security benefits. Because she did work during the 70s, though, she had full social security benefits and suffered no diminishment there; still, she always rather resented her pre-me earnings being discounted.

So now here we go again. I, too, settled down around the age of 40 and started building a nestegg (robin's egg) toward old age that includes this house with it's varying mortgages and a job of some duration, with pension and social security and some little pre-tax money put away into an annutity that is still worth less than if I had put money under a rock every two weeks. And now our illustrious president has unveiled a vague plan to once again to redo social security.

Of course, we know this won't get ironed out for some time, if at all, but what I want to know is: he says those 55 and older will be unaffected but starting in 2009 those younger will be given the "opportunity" to put some of their social security contributions somewhere else but definitely not under the rock and meanwhile their social security benefits will be reduced.

Mind you, I realize this guy is an idiot. But you'd think using numbers altogether wouldn't be too hard for him. I don't know. Does this mean those under 55 today? does this mean those under 55 in 2009? is what he's saying that those born after 1950 will see their benefits reduced, or only those born after 1954? This, while perhaps not significant in the larger picture, makes a considerable difference to someone like, say, um, me?

No comments: