Thinking of retiring in a few years? Beware of what is likely to come.

Government has created a massive, new and costly benefit called the Affordable Care Act (ACA). At the same time, government has been burnishing existing programs to rapidly convert people into beneficiaries. Taxpayers will soon be hijacked to pay the unprecedented costs, and those approaching retirement will feel the pain most acutely.

The Social Security Disability program had 6.6 million beneficiaries at the end of March 2006, but the headcount grew to 9 million at end of Dec 2014, a compound annual growth rate of 4.5%. It’s hard to imagine that the population of disabled people is expanding at such a rapid rate. More likely, underwriting standards were loosened.

In 2014, Medicare covered 48% of the health care charges for those enrolled in Medicare. Medicare Part-A (hospital insurance) charges no premium if the beneficiary already paid Medicare taxes on income for 40 quarters. That Medicare tax on income was 1.0% in 1968, and is now 2.9% applied to income, without limit.

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