FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
If you think talk on Capitol Hill over reducing our deficit and raising the debt ceiling has been ugly - just wait until the focus shifts to making cuts to Medicare or raising the retirement age for Social Security.
Long-term deficit reduction can't be achieved without reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, and the politicians know that. But millions of Americans depend on these programs and, as the Baby Boomer population ages, tens of millions more will, too.
A new survey out from the AARP finds many Americans in retirement or close to retirement age won't ever recover financially from the so-called Great Recession. Record job losses, declining home prices, skyrocketing health care costs and investment portfolios rocked by stock market volatility have all played a role.
One in four Americans over the age of 50 says they have burned through all of their savings. More than half, or about 53 percent, say they are not confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.
And about half of those surveyed who are having problems taking care of their finances say they have delayed getting medical or dental care or even stopped taking medications because they simply can't afford to.
Of those surveyed who started to collect Social Security retirement benefits, more than two-thirds say they did so earlier than previously planned.
Here’s my question to you: What does it mean that 25 percent of retirees in the U.S. say their savings are all gone?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
It means that the economy is in deep trouble and that really large budget cuts will cause a depression. Social Security is more necessary now than ever before and should be assured by eliminating the cap but keeping the maximum benefit at the present level (adjusted only for the cost of living). This would eliminate 30% of he budget problem.
It says perhaps that we all need to put retirement savings as a bigger priority in our lives, which would mean doing with less today, and lowering our expectations in terms of lifestyle in general. It’s a pragmatic analysis, but often those contain the most truth.
Dave in Virginia:
I'm not sure what the answer is. You can save all your life and then blow it all on long-term care, or you can blow it during your earlier years and use Medicaid for long-term care. There doesn't seem to be a dignified middle ground for most people.
Instead of sitting back and enjoying our golden years in the swing on the porch, we're doing without. Medical care and prescription cost have gone through the roof. The cost of everything has soared from food to fuel, and nothing has been neglected in the price rise. Except of course my social security payments. "They" say there is no cost of living increase, so last year's payment will handle our living cost just fine. Well it does, when we use our "rainy day funds." The problem is the rainy day fund is finite; we're too old to get another job to refill it. A dollar taken out can never be replaced, it's gone.
Jack it means we, old folks, who always voted Republican, will vote Democratic if the Republicans touch our Medicare in any way! I have been a good Republican for 68 years, but this year that could change. I'm just sayin."
Sadly, for the retirees, it means getting back in the work force, probably at minimum wage. For the rest of us, it just means we have to speak louder to the 93 year old cashier at Burger King to ensure our lunch order is properly understood.