Thursday, October 21, 2010

Retirement ages aren't necessary in the first place

It's been 8 days. 8 days of protest in France, over what seems like a silly issue. The issue? The French government would raise the retirement age by 2 years.

Yes, there have been protests in France for over a week because the retirement age MIGHT be increased by 2 years. Jesus.

Ultimately, I don't care what happens in France with regards to this issue. It does allow me, however, to point out something that is translatable to the US. We don't need a retirement age. In fact, we don't need government run retirement at all. Why should you have to retire when you reach a certain age? Why is it that you don't get to make that decision for yourself? I'm not saying government control over retirement is absolute (some retire earlier, some later), but if you want to see any of that money from your lifelong investments (SS, 401K), you have to retire at the government age. The very idea of having a set age for this isn't right.

Retirement should be a private decision, driven by private investment. In no way should the government have any control over your retirement. Social Security is incredibly inefficient and doesn't produce benefits equal to a private system. As an example, Galveston County in Texas, through a loophole in the original SS law, has a private retirement investment system. Money is paid into IRAs, which on average pay out 4 times as much as SS when it comes time to retire.

Government isn't all that great at securing your retirement, unlike what the politicians (Republican and Democrat) will tell you.

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