The First Retirement Plan Of The United States

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The first retirement plan created in the United States, is one that the majority of us are familiar, the Social Security Act, signed under law in 1935. Up until 1939, Social Security only paid retirement benefits to primary workers, which for the most part were men. Age 65 was chosen as the retirement age because individuals who survived past childhood were likely to live past 65. However, not everyone benefited from such assistance, even after age 65—agricultural and domestic workers were excluded from coverage (DeWitt, 2010). The excluded group consisted of roughly half of workers contributing to the economy, which the majority were African Americans. According to Larry DeWitt, a public historian from the Social Security Administration, exclusion of such groups was due to tax-collection procedures and not due to racial bias. Although it may seem as though Social Security was meant to be the only form of retirement plan for qualified retirees, it was not. During such time, many individuals strongly depended on their savings as well as on their family. Today, the certainty of receiving sufficient benefits solely from Social Security for a quality standard of living after retirement is indefinite. Baby boomers—individuals born post World War II between 1946 and 1964—are beginning to claim their benefits, and given what I have learned in class, the number of individuals entering the workforce is inadequate to sustain such a large population, thus such generation will consume
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