Many Americans will find that they have to work longer before being able to receive Social Security benefits if our legislators follow the recently proposed French model.
An article in the London Telegraph by Henry Samuel reports that the French cabinet approved a controversial retirement plan. The cabinet approved an unpopular bill to raise the retirement age, after the minister in charge of the reform, Eric Woerth, stepped down from his role as treasurer of the ruling UMP party.
The controversial pension reform plan was rolled out asking the cabinet to raise the official retirement age from 60 to 62. Why was this proposal advanced? Its implementation is seen as crucial to show investors France means to tackle its debt and deficit woes.
French President, Mr Sarkozy said in a Monday interview he was determined to see through the plan to lift the retirement age and make people work longer for a pension despite expected protests when it goes to parliament in September.
The reform was essential to bring down the public deficit and national debt, and prevent France entering a debt spiral similar to that of Greece and Portugal, the president said.
Trade unions promised to fight the bill and said they would seek to make the government retreat. "We will have to create the conditions to force him to change his mind," Bernard Thibault, leader of the CGT union, told France Info radio.
Facing unmanageable national debt and deficits the French appear to have their backs against the wall and are being forced to take drastic measures to lessen the fiscal pressure. Unfortunately, America finds herself in the same scenario and will face similar adjustments in the years ahead.
What can you do about it? Not much if your only source of retirement funds is Social Security. The best remedy is to take charge of your retirement by contributing to a balanced and widely diversified personal retirement plan, establish a significant savings plan, and stay out of debt.