I just had to write after reading your editorial, "If our only options are 'work indefinitely, live poor or die,' is it time to riot?" (EBN December 2010), and had to comment.

First, I think those options are fine. The sense of entitlement in this country is out of control. I believe the systems in place are fine. The problem is when all these people who have no money to retire get bailed out by the government, there is no incentive to change. If Grandma and Grandpa (or Mom and Dad) die broke, maybe Junior will save for his retirement. If he gets a handout, why would Junior save?

This proposed change in retirement age really just shifts the entitlement from the old to the young. If everyone has to work two more years, that's two years those jobs are not available for a younger person. That's less people working and paying taxes to pay the entitlements.

It's a vicious cycle that will not end until the entitlements do. Meanwhile, as taxes get raised, I will have less money to save for my retirement and possibly need an entitlement myself.

Bill Starck
Human relations specialist
Wisconsin

 


 

I just read your editorial and have to say that the prospect of working until I am 70 does not excite me. I do think that the current system is broken; maybe it is time that we take to the streets and really let the government see that we are not in favor of the current system.

Many people can't even find jobs or can't physically work until they are 70. What are they supposed to do?

One of the reasons the current system is not working is that people have to make choices about what they can afford. Even if you live a frugal lifestyle you might only be able to put 3% of your paycheck into a 401(k). When you have to choose between medicine and food or your retirement, most will choose the current need before looking into the future.

I am not sure what the answer is, but something has to give. Let me know when we are going to be protesting. I will be there.

Tina Arteaga
Senior staff accountant and benefits administrator
Chicago, Ill.

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