Every day there are more and more people retiring at a younger age. By the time an adult is around 55 they are tired of working and just want to retire already. But, what they do not realize is that retiring early will give you much higher medical expenses. Heath care costs can add up quickly when you aren’t eligible for Medicare, which kicks in at age 65. Someone who retires at age fifty-five will spend an average of $119,600 over the next ten years on insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, said Dale Yamamoto, who authored a report on medical spending on behalf of the Society of Actuaries and the Health Care Costs Institute. By contrast, a sixty five year old leaving work today will spend only $50,900 over the next ten years thanks to Medicare, which provides less expensive coverage.
There are many study’s going on right now about retiring and when the best time to retire is at. The goal of the study is to help people understand how much money they’ll need to retire. Dale Yamamoto said, “My neighbors had no idea how much health care costs, they were floored by how much it costs for just one year before Medicare kicks in.” The goal of Dale Yamamoto is to inform everyone how much it costs to retire before Medicare comes into play. In the study they found out that by the time today’s fifty five year old retiree hit age eighty-five, he will have spent $372,400, on average. The sixty-five year old retiree will spend only $146,60. That is more than a $200,000 saving if they choose to retire at age sixty-five rather than age fifty-five.
If someone really wants to retire early they have to know what they are getting themselves into. They have to think about the costs and benefits as well as the trade-offs, and the opportunity cost. The main cost of retiring early would be the loss of money. They could lose around $200,000 that could be useful later in their life. Also, work makes someone get up and get moving. If a fifty five year old does not go to work then they are more likely to sit around all day and not be as active. It is important for people to work while they are getting older because it keeps them moving. But, on the other hand, the benefits of retiring early are sleeping in, having more freedom to do what they want, traveling the world, and spending more time with family. In my family, all of my grandparents have worked until they were at least sixty-five. My grandpa still works today and he is eighty-one years old while his partner is ninety-four. Going to the office really keeps them going and they are more motivated throughout the day. So, they are not losing any money while they are working they are having to pay less for medical expenses while still earning a salary. On the other hand, my friend is forty-nine and she has already retired. She still has a long time until she gets the Medicare benefits so she is having to spend a lot more on her medical expenses than most people. But, before she retired she weighed the costs and benefits of retiring early. Everybody has different views but in my opinion the costs outweigh the benefits and it is important for people to stay working until they are at least sixty-five or can physically no longer work. People who choose to retire early are making a trade-off because they are losing money but then also gaining freedom to do whatever they want to do during the day. People should retire when they physically cannot work anymore or when they turn sixty-five not when they just do not feel like working, if they do not work they will lose a lot of money in the long run.
This year in government class I learned about the basis of our government through our six units: Civics 101, Foundations, Elections, Presidency, Congress, and Judiciary. I came into class barely knowing anything and was constantly confused when my brother and dad were talking about politics in front of me. Now, I have a greater knowledge of the government and I am able to participate in the various conversations my family has about politics. My favorite unit out of the last two trimesters was the presidency because I enjoyed learning about the specific duties and leadership positions that our president takes on.
Prior to this unit, I did not know the specific powers and duties the president has. All I knew is that he was the leader of our country. But, there is a lot more to the job than just being a leader. In class we explored the powers and limitations of the President through reading Article II of the constitution, Richard Neustadt’s Presidential Power and Clinton Rossiter’s The American Presidency. Article II helped me understand what the President can and cannot do during his presidency. Neustadt’s Presidential Powers discusses the informal powers of the President. Then, The American Presidency explores the modern roles of the President. These three pieces broadened my views on the presidency.
My favorite activity we did during class this year while learning about the presidency was fun with Article II. This made me analyze and take a deeper look into Article II of the Constitution. Instead of just reading through the article and retaining some information I had to closely read what the text is specifically saying. In the activity, we read eight hypothetical solutions and had to find out if they are constitutional or unconstitutional. This helped me explore the constitution in a new way that is more fun than simply reading it. One thing that I found interesting was that the constitution states that the president has to “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union”(Article II Section 3). While the president always gives the State of the Union address to the nation he does not have to. The president can just give the Congress a letter. The Constitution only states that he has to give the Congress information of the State of the Union not the whole nation.
The next step in exploring the presidency was looking at the modern roles of the president. Rossiter mentions ten presidential roles that the president has. These roles include: Chief Executive, Commander in Chief, World Leader, Chief of State, Chief of Legislator, Chief Diplomat, Protector of the Peace, Voice of the People, Manager of Prosperity, and Chief of Party. Personally I think the most important role of the president is Chief Executive. By reading Rossiter’s The American Presidency, I learned that as Chief Executive the president must choose federal officials, manage national affairs, develop policies, and enforce federal laws and court rulings. These responsibilities of the president especially affect the United States and the citizens. Then, on the other hand, I personally think that the least important role of the president is Chief of Party. While the president is the representative of his party, his commitment as president is not to his party but to his country as a whole. Before reading this piece I did not know about all the roles the president takes on when he comes into office. The president definitely keeps himself busy with all the roles he plays.
The last step in exploring the presidency is looking at his informal powers. Neustadt’s Presidential Power explores the informal powers the president has. In my opinion, the most important informal power Neustadt mentioned was the act to persuade. The president has to persuade people every day that what he is doing is what is best for our country. Persuasion is a big part of being a president and every successful president uses persuasion to prove that everything he does is in the nations best interest.
The presidency was my favorite unit because I explored things I never knew or understood before. Now I know the many different limitations and roles the president has as leader of our country. Overall, government class has taught me a lot about our nation and how it runs, specifically each branch of the government.
Everyone in the nation is ready for the “fiscal cliff” to be solved and behind them but now America has the budget sequester to worry about. The fiscal cliff deal in January only dealt with one part of the fiscal cliff, taxation. But as a result, the Congress has yet to come up with a solution to the spending cuts (Forbes). The sequester is a group of cuts to federal spending set to take effect on March 1st of this year. The sequester was originally passed as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. The sequester is also known as the debt ceiling compromise. These cuts were originally supposed to occur at the beginning of 2013 but they were delayed so the Congress and Obama can have more time to discuss the spending cuts. The Congress thought that they would have plenty of time to come up with a solution to the sequester before March 1st but now they are in the exact position they were in back in December. If the Congress and President Obama do not make a better deal, the sequester will go into effect immediately by cutting 10% of federal spending across the board (New York Times).
As of now, the sequester will result in $85.4 billion cuts across the board. In order to reduce our nation’s debt it is absolutely necessary that we make cuts in federal spending. However, I do not agree with having equal spending cuts across the board. For the spending cuts to be impactful, the Congress has to strategically cut different amounts off different programs and not the same across the board. For example, cuts in defense should be slightly greater than the cuts in Medicare. The Congress and the President need to get together within the next week and strategically figure out the amount of cuts that are needed in each federal program.
By studying and researching about the fiscal cliff in government class this year I learned that the Democrats want to cut more taxes rather than cut spending. The Republicans want the opposite, less tax increases and more spending cuts. The sequester will devastate the Democrats due to the cuts in government spending such as research and education. Although the Republicans want spending cuts they are not happy with the huge cuts in defense (New York Times). As of now, the Democrats have proposed replacing the $85 million sequester cuts with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. Republican and Democratic politicians need to come to an agreement based on the benefits.
The sequester causes loss of jobs too many people across the nation. According to Forbes, the cuts will affect the $22 million people employed by the government. The cuts will decrease personal earnings of the work force by $109.4 billion and cost the nation’s economy 2.14 million jobs. The government Studies show that people will be loosing their jobs in all fifty states but California, Virginia, and Texas are said to have the largest potential jobs loss (Washington Post).
In government this year we spent a long time studying and discussing the fiscal cliff. At first, I had no idea what the fiscal cliff was about but by doing some research with my group and listening to in class discussions, I quickly learned what the fiscal cliff is along with the effects it will have on our country. By hearing my classmate’s views of the fiscal cliff during their group presentations, I began to formulate my own opinions. By learning about the fiscal cliff in government class this year, I am now able to follow and understand what is going on with the sequester in the news.