Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Social Security & Medicare

Yesterday I signed JMM up for his Social Security to start when he reaches his full retirement age of 66 next January.  It took about 25 minutes online.  I will do the same for me when I turn 66 in December, 2013.  I have no qualms about drawing Social Security because we have paid into the system for 50 years in Joe's case and about 30 years for me.  We would probably have more money if instead of paying into SS, we had invested the money in a long term growth fund and if we had done that, what we didn't use could be passed on as an inheritance.  But that wasn't the case and I do think SS is necessary. Not everyone will save for their retirement, some because they are frivolous, but most because they simply can't.  Ill health, intermittent employment, and just plain bad luck make it difficult for so many to save for retirement.  So God bless Social Security and long may it survive the Paul Ryans of the Congress. 

Now we come to Medicare. We both enrolled in Medicare when we turned 65.  We only signed up for Part A as JMM is still working and we have health insurance through his employer.  I truly dread when JMM retires and we have to try to figure out the Medicare maze.  Do we get a Medicare Advantage Plan, will they still be available? How about a crystal ball to figure out which prescription drug plan would be best for each of us for the next year? It is useless to try to figure it out until just before he retires because Congress may overhaul the whole thing.  I know that Medicare is rife with fraud and I know that it is unsustainable as it is currently structured but I do hope that Congress doesn't throw the baby out with the bath water.  I guess, as Miss Scarlet said,  "I will worry about that tomorrow."

But I just have to add that if we hadn't muddled into two unfunded wars and numerous interventions and if we weren't so dead set on giving tax breaks to multimillionaires, we might have enough money to take care of the poor, sick, and elderly, properly educate our children, and adequately maintain our infrastructure.  But alas, it was not so. 


Hattie said...

We have the Kaiser plan, which administers all parts of Medicare for us. It's been very good, as it was for my MIL, who lived to be 97.
My brother in law has received a lot of very expensive care through Kaiser over the years and has no complaints.
For us, managed care has been the way to go. It keeps down costs.

Florence said...

Thanks Hattie. I will have to investigate what is available here in Texas. If we had a sensible universal healthcare system, we wouldnt have to go through all this.