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posted: 10/26/2012 5:00 AM

A real fear in military: no Social Security

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Members of the U.S. military are required to pay into Social Security from every paycheck. They have no choice. However, it is not right to ask these men and women to fight for and defend our country when they believe they won't have any Social Security for their own retirement.

My colleagues and I have taught personal financial management to more than 100,000 Navy sailors at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois. This includes many Navy SEAL candidates, Hospital Corpsmen who deploy with Marines, and others going into harm's way. One section of the course covers investments and planning for retirement. Sailors in nearly every class that I have taught have a huge fear that Social Security will not be there for them. They cannot be swayed from that viewpoint.

Studies abound concluding that the Social Security dilemma is real and is a solvable problem. The data are there. The choices are many. It just takes will. So, it seems unconscionable that President Obama, as commander-in-chief of our armed forces, shows no willingness to solve this issue. At the debate he stated, "Social Security is structurally sound." The topic is not even on his agenda. It demonstrates a lack of leadership. As I tell my students, "Where there is a will, there is a way. Where there is no will, there is an excuse."

Joseph Clark


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