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Pitifully ill-informed arguments against 'lazy retirees' [Letter]

As a retiree, I read William Smith's recent letter to the editor with equal parts amazement and sadness ("Who needs those lazy retirees?" Aug. 19).

Amazement at the level of vitriol displayed, and sadness because it appears that Mr. Smith's education did not include a rigorous course in English usage, during which he would have become familiar with the definitions of the words "handout" and "welfare."

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Let me attempt to fill this lamentable gap. According to Oxforddictionaries.com, a handout is "something given free to a needy person," and welfare is "financial support given to people in need."

I would impress upon Mr. Smith that the operative word in both of these definitions is "given."

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During our retirement, my wife and I have three sources of financial support: First, investment savings; second, Social Security; and finally, pensions.

Contrary to what Mr. Smith seems to believe, the income from these three sources is not being "given" to us by any government entity. Instead, our income is the direct result of personal decisions we made over 40-plus years of hard work.

To make the point absolutely clear: We funded our investments, we funded our Social Security -- look it up, Mr. Smith, it's called F.I.C.A. -- and our pensions were part of our workplace compensation.

So please, Mr. Smith, think twice before you incorrectly describe retirees as "lazy welfare addicts" who are "waiting for their next handout."

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After all, your grandparents may be listening, and they would be embarrassed by your ill-informed arguments.

Dennis J. Dabrowka, Glen Burnie

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To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com. Please include your name and contact information.

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