Retirement planning can be challenging because you’re attempting to look past the horizon. Though you do not have a crystal ball and you can’t see into the future, you can make intelligent projections if you pay attention to all relevant information as it unfolds. Government programs for seniors like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are indeed relevant to the field of elder law, and recently we’ve been hearing a lot of talk about possible cuts to these programs.
Knowing exactly what to expect is important if you want to plan intelligently, and of course the legislators who are talking about changes to these programs are going to be influenced by public opinion. As we all know the federal deficit is a topic of concern, and many lawmakers have been suggesting that cuts to these programs are necessary to balance the budget.
There would be those who would ask why their first Social Security check after paying into the program for 50 years would be an instance of deficit spending, and perhaps this is a good question. Some people who are approaching retirement resent the suggestion that those who are working once they retire are in essence funding their Social Security checks and Medicare benefits when they have paid into these programs all of their lives.
That being stated, the Kaiser Family Foundation recently published the results of a poll that they conducted in an effort to get a feel for public sentiment on budget cuts. What they found was that 62% of the people polled did not want to see any reductions in Social Security spending at all. Considering the average monthly Social Security benefit was just $1072 in 2010 and there have been no increases to the benefit for a couple of years some would argue that there isn’t a lot of room for cuts. 57% of the respondents stated that they did not support Medicare cuts, and half of those polled are against any reductions in Medicaid spending.
If you are planning for your elder years you need to look ahead, and the future of these programs is relevant to most Americans so any proposed budget cuts are something to pay attention to going forward.