Robert Samuelson's article {"Pampering the Elderly (II)," op-ed, Nov. 21} makes a lot of sense to me. The system -- with its partiality toward the well-to-do retirees, its lack of a realistic policy for Medicare recipients and its irresolute stand on the proper allocation of Social Security funds -- indeed needs reforms. And big ones at that. How do I know it? Here is how.

I am a 68-year-old widow with very limited financial resources. I retired from a full-time postion at 65 but am still working at a part-time job and will continue to do so to the extent my health will permit.

Thus, I do not consider myself to have been or to be now a burden on society, since 1) I delayed the drawing of Social Security payments by three years from the 62-years-of-age statutory requirement; 2) I am self-sufficient; and 3) I am ready to accept an equitable increase in my Medicare premiums realizing that, for my own benefit and for that of those in my condition, a few dollars spent now will make a difference in our future.

And what do I get from all this? Taxation policies that not only place me at the same level as those retirees whose income from various sources (real estate, stock, pensions, etc.) makes their stage in life truly "golden" but that also penalize me by preventing me from earning an amount commensurate with my capabilities and my productivity.

Mine is one example of only part of the many problems in the structure of this aging society, and it won't take Robert Samuelson's voice alone to correct their inequity. Particularly those baby boomers who love to inveigh against the elderly might well expend their time and energies in a more constructive way. Someday they will find themselves at the same point in life at which we, the present elderly, are. And for some of them, as it is for some of us now, their late years might not be as "golden" as they expect.

GABRIELLA CAHILL Springfield