little more to me than the representation of a small blue card in my wallet,
a consistent and increasingly significant deduction of funds from my weekly
pay-check, and a vague academically-instilled recollection of the potential
for long-term future benefit. In fact, it was not until I researched
Reflecting on precisely how ignorant I had been to the issue prior to my
I think that many of my friends do not even think much of saving for
an end, yet the existence of living expenses will not. Social security, many
do not realize, however, is that this amount is not intended to be used as
our sole source of income.
Unfortunately, the tragic irony is that many of us reach retirement and
social security. The reality is, that the program is but one benefit, one
addition, and one financial supplement. Its intent is to be combined with
other savings, IRA’s, retirement funds and the like. Many senior citizens
retire not fully realizing this and consequently, they are forced to seek
part-time employment to supplement their income. This defeats the purpose of retirement
all together. Since people often expect social security to pay for all or most
of their living expenses, the disappointment that comes with
retirement leads them to maintain negative feelings against the social
security program which is actually at no fault whatsoever.
Once you have reached your retirement age you must notify your employer and the
government agency responsible for paying you benifits. This is the
Social Security Administration. Arrangements must be made to carry private
government health coverage. While social security is of
great financial benefit to retirees, it must not be mistaken as a financial entity
on which people can live without any other sources of income or savings.
(IRAs) or other means.
In addition to providing financial aid to the retired, social
security has two other aspects: Should the worker die before retirement,
benefits go to survivors: to widows or widowers and to children until they
reach a specific age, usually 18. Should a worker become disabled, income
maintenance is provided. Temporary injury, however, is usually covered by
workmen’s compensation programs.
In the United States social security is a contributory system. Workers
few countries maintain universal pension plans paid from general revenues.
Other countries have assistance for those not covered by social security or
for those whose benefits are inadequate.
There are some exceptions to social security coverage. Government
workers, including the military, often have their own pension plans. The
self-employed and those who work for nonprofit organizations have also been
excluded, but in the United States this policy has been changing.
. In the United States there was no general
government-supported health plan until the passage of Medicare and Medicaid
in 1965 as amendments to the Social Security Act. (The exception was the
medical service offered through Veterans Administration hospitals.) Medicare,
however, is not a general health plan available to the whole population. Its
benefits are for retired persons who have been part of the social security
system. And Medicare does not cover the whole cost of hospitalization or
other services. Therefore, similar to the notion that retirees must not rely
solely on income from social security, they also must not rely solely on
related health insurance.
The social security benefit formula is designed so that if an individual
who maintains average earnings all through their working life and retires at
full retirement age, (currently 65), will have a social security benefit
equalling approximately 4 0% of their earnings just prior to retirement. If,
however, a retiree had minimum wage earnings all of their life, social