Texas governor Rick Perry, a 2012 presidential contender, has some ideas in mind for the Social Security system- ideas that could greatly impact the personal finances of Houstonians and others as they plan for retirement.
Perry, an outspoken critic of the Social Security system, spoke to an Iowa crowd recently about the status and future of the government’s pension program, calling it a Ponzi scheme and warning that the current system cannot be counted on in the future. Perry aimed his rhetoric specifically at young people, letting them know that they cannot rely on a broken system to supply them with future retirement funding.
Strong criticisms such as these would lead voters to believe that Rick Perry favors a complete disbanding of the Social Security system. However, Perry actually wants to keep the system in place with several changes to make it stronger and more solvent. Among other possibilities, Perry has suggested raising the retirement age and, much to the surprise of some fellow Republicans, limiting the Social Security payments to wealthier Americans if it can be shown that they have enough money of their own to retire comfortably.
Many rightfully worry about Social Security funding in the future. The system can only pay out what it is capable of collecting and with longer lifespans and a large influx of retirees from the Baby Boom generation, the Social Security system is likely to feel the pinch. Worse, any excess funds received are immediately absorbed into the general government budget, so there are no surpluses from year to year.
Politicians usually avoid the subject of Social Security as much as possible due to the political risk and the fear that it often stirs in the hearts and minds of senior citizens. But Perry is convinced that an honest dialogue and direct action in the near future are essential if the Social Security system is expected to provide at least some means for a basic retirement.
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