Lifehacker just put out a fairly standard post with some advice about personal finance. As I was reading it, I couldn’t help but realize how relevant each point is to our government’s fiscal situation.
It states 3 rules that no longer apply:
1. “Save 3 to 6 months’ worth of expenses in your emergency fund”
This rule, they say, is outdated because 3-6 months is not enough. This is a clear argument for a real surplus in times of good to cushion the “7 years of famine” and is very sound advice for our government.
2. “Refrain from using credit cards”
This no longer applies because inactivity can apparently affect credit score. I see this as a response to the extremists who would prefer that the US defaults on its debt. Lifehacker suggests, “swipe that plastic regularly, and pay off the bills in full, of course.” This is some wonderful advice to our legislators to credibly commit to actually paying the bills.
3. “Retire at age 65”
Another wonderful fallacy that also seems to plague our government. Lifehacker reports, “When the national retirement age of 65 was established for the Social Security Act in 1935 (over 75 years ago!), the average American lifespan was 61.7 years. Today, we still think of retirement age as 65, but the average lifespan is now 78 years—16 years more.” This perfectly describes America’s largest fiscal issues today, the growing entitlements. While raising the retirement age is not the only(or best) method of cutting entitlement spending, it would be a great start.
As much as the legislators would like them to, these problems will not go away and the earlier that they are addressed, the easier they will be to swallow.