Editor’s Note: Below is a column I wrote in February 2013, the year I turned 65. I began collecting Social Security earlier, at age 62. In June 2013, my Medicare coverage started, and I retired in October 2013. This article was originally posted on one of my other blogs. Because readers of Retirement Made Simple have shown a deep interest in Social Security and Medicare, I’ve removed it from the other blog and am reposting it here today, with minor updating, including additional links to other sources. As you can tell, Social Security and Medicare are American icons that I feel very strongly about.
An official-looking envelope arrived in the mail this week. (Yes, despite reports to the contrary, we still have mail delivery in the USA.)
Inside the envelope, my Medicare card! Thank God! But how did this happen? How did I ever get to be this old? Never mind.
Amazing thing is, I didn’t even apply for Medicare. They just send me the card automatically, three months before I turn 65. Part A and Part B, both automatic. It’s effective in June, when I turn 65.
Many people are convinced that all government is inefficient. Anarchists claim government can’t possibly do anything right! Where do they get that idea?
Social Security and Medicare run like well-oiled machines.
The Social Security Administration +++ runs Social Security with amazingly low administrative expenses! And the honest truth is, it’s all been paid for, by me! And by you! Through specifically designated taxes! Is this a great country, or what!
As for Medicare, +++ I’ve been paying a tax every week since 1966 (which happens to be the year I graduated from high school). For Social Security, I’ve been paying a couple of years longer, ever since I got my first part-time job at age 16. Every week, for 48 years! My money, invested prudently in the safest possible way — U.S. government bonds. Accrued interest!
+++ The two links in the two paragraphs above are the most authoritative sources regarding Social Security and Medicare, respectively.
Saving every week for 48 years. Investing the money prudently. Isn’t that what the investment gurus advise?
How could that possibly be wrong? It feels right to me. All younger workers (by which I mean everyone under 62) need to read the following article by Motley Fool, as printed in USA Today in September 2015:
Why is it that so many poorly informed workers are ready to give up on Social Security??? And why is it that Social Security and Medicare are the two programs the wealthy hate the most? I don’t get it.
— John Hayden