It seems that I get more readership when I write essays with a thick slab of right handed politics woven into my stories… you asked for it… so here I go!
Let’s start this story with 2brothers that were born a year apart… thus it follows that they should retire a year apart. As this story goes one of the sons takes good advice from his parents about retirement savings programs that were provided by the government many years ago. Those programs (IRA’s) started out innocently enough as one could “save” an extra $2,000 per year to be “written off”on one’s taxes and would then be earmarked for withdraw when that person retired. As far as I was concerned the amount $2,000 was an absurdly low target to hit and at the same time for a lot of people an absurdly high target to save for. Think about both of those statements… when I was 20 years old the concept of saving almost $200 per month was at times beyond comprehension… for at the time that amount was the dollar amount that I would need to decide on whether could I eat or not… it was a significant challenge. At the same time I was doing the math $2,000 x say 30 years is $60,000. Of course all of the financial advisors out there would say that add in investment increases etc. that that amount might go 10 fold… OK… say that was accurate math… which it is not unless you hit the market just right… but let’s say for argument sake that it grows to$600,000. Divide by 25 years… adjust for inflation and pretty soon you are down to about $1.25 per day you will have to spend in your retirement. Now it’s notas bad as all that… but seriously for the folks that did take that advice to heart… let’s just say it didn’t grow to $600,000 not all by itself.
Fortunately for a lot of us the maximum amounts that could be set aside have increased substantially.Additionally many companies have offered profit sharing options or IRA or similar matching funds products that have made the effort a little easier for those who have chosen to save for their own retirements. As I approached 60…I’ve been able to contribute almost $25,000 per year which is as burdensome as the $2,000 when I was younger. And so it should be noted that I / we meaning my wife and I have saved a bunch over the years… more than I ever thought could be saved. It should be noted in that same time period that almost all companies except for government employees have dropped the pension programs that they used to carry… and so alleviate the burden of taking care of that 35 year employee into his retirement. In other words dumping it on the poor slob that doesn’t really know how to navigate the “market” any better than the well paid pension program “directors”. I’ll note here that recently I’ve watched the 60 Minute Show on Sunday evenings that have outlined several states… I think Kentucky was the one I took note of… that the pension plan advisors were paid millions, and the accounts have lost hundreds of millions…leaving the state pension programs all but dry. And we (meaning the common and often uneducated) are supposed to do better?
Moving on… so (we) who have saved diligently as in maxing out the amounts that legally could be saved have amassed dollars that we are counting on for a “better” retirement.That’s why we did it right? I don’t want to be solely dependent on a government to figure out what a “good” retirement is right? For crying out loud when I look to the people who weren’t able to save… or worse yet just didn’t save along the way complaining that the $834 they get from social security doesn’t pay the bills… well no shit Sherlock! that’s why everybody from my mother to every single job director along the way has all but screamed at you to save… and then save more… and when you are done saving… save double that amount.
And so we have 2 brothers…one that took mom’s advice from day 1… save, save more, and double that if you possibly can… and they did. And here is where the nut hits the jock strap! The other brother did not… instead sorta went the other way. The one brother could have been driving around in a Mercedes… but chose instead to drive around used vans… why… they were cheap… why because he was putting the money instead into retirement accounts. He didn’t buy mobile homes, didn’t buy motor cycles, didn’t spend a lot of time in bars and worked 60-70 hours a week along the way… why…because he was saving the money for retirement.
Now I’ve written all of that to get to the point that follows. Brother one has contributed to the social security program for as many years as brother two. As a matter of fact he’s probably contributed more because of income differences along the way. Long term care insurances have been taken out to offset those costs that might be incurred down the way… in fact paying more for retirement. Here is the concern that brother one has… BIG BROTHER… is looking at these two brothers and saying that brother one has “plenty” of money to pay for his own retirement and doesn’t need or deserve any of the funds that have been taken out over the years to contribute to this program? Whereas brother two having little or no money and no long term care insurance we be desperately depending on what little social security and or other government programs can be drawn from.Noting also, likely complaining all of the way that one can’t possibly live on the pittance received each month from these programs. No shit Sherlock!
And so… as the nut is being pulled up nice and tight in the proverbial jock strap I draw a couple of unfortunate conclusions. I’ll start with brother number two… I seem to recall and “old folk” story having to do with the grass hopper and the ant…one spent his life storing food and the other living out warm summer days eating everything that was in front of him… for anyone that hasn’t read this story… it seems to me that it doesn’t end well for the grass hopper. And so… do I, should I, should I have to feel sorry for the grass hopper? Right about now is when the left swinging cry babies are having a melt down! I say step off! I/ you always had an option… worked a second job, went to another class to improve yourself, drank one less Coke, turned the thermostat 2 degrees… there were always a million ways to go here.
Sooooooooooooooo this year2018… I have paid in excess of $10,000 towards a program I may never get a penny from because some bureaucrat who “thinks” that I should have enough to retire on? I have Two things to say about that… well probably more like a hundred… but I will trim it down a bit.
1) That wasn’t the deal… the deal was I contribute… all of my life… like the ant did… I then get my fair share. It was never presented as a “we’ll see” kind of thing…otherwise I have a feeling that there would have been a hoard of ants that would have overwhelmed the system. I would have been in that hoard!
2) This is what really rips me… there are those on the left that have said to me about the taxes I pay and I imagine the dollars I may not get out of the “system” that I am lucky that I have enough money to not “need” those dollars? That I amlucky to be able to make enough to pay in those dollars to the tax system.Lucky? To that I say step off jack / Jackie! paying my own way through college,working 3 jobs at a time for most of my life, doing the work… instead of hiring it done… all of my life! Could / would it have been easier not to do any of those things… yes. Could it have been nicer to drive around a brand new car my whole life… and let’s make it a Mercedes while we are at it… yes. Could I have stayed at the bar longer, stayed on vacation a day or two longer, put another shrimp on the bar-be…yes! But I didn’t because I don’t trust my Uncle… he is agreedy, selfish bastard that thinks he knows better… when the facts of the matter are that my /our uncle has hoards of greedy selfish nephews (our congressmen and women) that are lining their pockets with everybody else’s money…why? The simplest answer I can give is they are tricky little grass hoppers that talk fast and tell lies really, really good. And the real problem is that the rest of the grass hoppers and ants believe them.