Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The "Silver Tsunami" of Retiring Baby Boomers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Retired school teacher Kathleen Casey-Kirschling on October 15 became the first ripple in a "silver tsunami" of retiring baby boomers applying for pension benefits that threatens to overwhelm U.S. government finances.

Casey-Kirschling was born one second after midnight on January 1, 1946, and will receive her first Social Security check in February 2008 as the first wave of baby boomers turns 62 next year and becomes eligible for early retirement benefits.

Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said the agency is bracing for some 80 million Americans to apply for retirement benefits over the next two decades.

The unsustainable pyramid/Ponzi scheme is starting to crumble...

7 Comments:

At 10/23/2007 10:02 AM, Anonymous bob wright said...

This could get real ugly.

If politicians insist on reducing the benefits [and increasing the costs] of baby boomers, they darn well better reduce the benefits of people currently receiving benefits.

If they raise the level of income subject to FICA, they will turn social security into a welfare program.

 
At 10/23/2007 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is beginning to look like a manufactured crisis. One where the government can say, "We're here to help you" and a whole bunch of propagandized fools will believe them.

 
At 10/23/2007 1:49 PM, Anonymous bob wright said...

Social Security is really in trouble; the problem is not manufactured any more than when the PBGC reports on the unfunded liabilities of many corporate defined benefit pension plans.

The big question is how to fix it.

Politicians will never ask current recipients to take a benefit reduction - i.e. see a reduction in their monthly social security checks.

Only future recipients will be forced to take benefit cuts.

This will pit the baby boomers against the WWII generation.

 
At 10/23/2007 3:35 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I think it will pit the Baby Boomers against Generation X. The Baby Boomers are more numerous, vote at higher percentages, and have more accumulated wealth than Generation X does.

It will be interesting to see who wants to incur the Baby Boomers' wrath by cutting their benefits. Maybe a term-limited President and a handful of Congressmen who don’t want to be re-elected will try, but I don’t think most career politicians want to touch that “Third Rail” of politics.

To show how difficult this problem is, President Bush couldn’t even get a tad of sensible privatization on the Social Security table.

 
At 10/23/2007 3:58 PM, Anonymous bob wright said...

Perhaps the better way to state the problem is:

When Congress decides to fix social security, the solution will most likely pit future recipients against current recipients - whatever constituencies comprise the majority of these recipient groups at the time.

 
At 10/23/2007 4:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's new about this? Boomers have been trashed for as long as there have been Boomers. They ought to be used to it by now.

 
At 10/25/2007 9:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem *is* being fixed by encouraging immigration to the US. More people captured into the "ponzi scheme" by government mandate. Yes, that's what we need: more open borders.

 

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