I'm what is lamely referred to as a 'senior citizen' ... but that's another blog! I don't feel any different inside of this body than i did when i was thirty, which is to say, i am intelligent and interesting; i am in good shape, although somewhat overweight - somewhere between 25 and 40 pounds according to the continually revised 'weight standards' put out by the life insurance companies and depending on what year they decided i'll NEVER be the correct weight; i am adventurous and can be quite an exciting person; i am woman and i continue to roar!

Ever since receiving my January Social Security check (forced on us by some lamebrained politician when i was a tiny child... or maybe before) i've planned on blogging about how the government can give you a raise, yet mail you less money than you were getting the previous year! Then I saw today's Random Question. Here it is:
From the cover of Time Magazine (May 26, 2003)... 'Hey, Where's my Raise?'..... 'Paychecks are shrinking for millions of Americans. What that means for your future.' So, what does that mean to your future?... and that's if your lucky enough to still have a job! Please comment.

When Dow Chemical.. the Corporate end of it... forced me to retire at the tender age of fifty, it sort of hurt but in reality i wanted to retire 'young' anyway. Because Social Security doesn't kick in until you are at least sixty-two years old, the company agreed to pay me the equivalent of the amount SS would have paid if they had to start paying me that year. (No, i'm not gonna tell you what year that was! You already know i must be at least 62 since i'm collecting SS now... right?)

Cutting to the chase... i can tell you that when SS kicked in and Dow Chemical cut back i actually received a nice-sized increase in monthly income.... which tells me that i was screwed by the Company... surprise... surprise!!! Because of that experience my recommendation to anybody who has to retire with only twenty years in a company might as well take the 'lump sum' and invest it in something stodgy and trustworthy. What you actually get paid by the Big Business is so miniscule as to be almost non-existent. Because i've been an active Social Security contributor since the tender age of 14, it wasn't just my Dow experience that makes this check almost worthwhile. (No, i couldn't live on my SS income alone... it still takes two incomes to get by!)

Oh yeah! ...the question! I don't exactly get a paycheck... the SS check is what many call a 'fixed income' or, as my spouse prefers... a 'guaranteed' income. Well every year SS pays a small increase in monthly checks, based on the cost of living increase from the previous year. Not too bad, huh? Now get this.... at the age of 65 you have to go on Medicare as your primary insurer and the Company insurer cuts itself back to secondary... maybe not so if you're independently wealthy, but for the rest of us.... blah blah.

Here's the old people's 'Catch 22'... this year the government changed their way of calculating our increase, making it even smaller than usual. Then they increased the cost of our Medicare... which we are forced to be a part of!!! Net result? We get a raise, but they take more of it away from us.... and voila! While the cost of groceries, gasoline, clothes and our portion of the medical expense..... all necessary to living in this world.... increases, we have less dollars coming in! Wah wah wah! It could be worse... much worse! Thank you God for placing me here in the United States and not in Iraq or any of the third world countries.

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