Managing Your Money

Can you count on Social Security?

It’s no secret that Social Security is in trouble. Without adjustments it is predicted that beginning in 2017 money being paid into Social Security will fall short of what is paid out. At that time the government will begin dipping into the Social Security trust fund to make up the difference. But estimates show that that pool will be gone by 2037. The questions on everyone’s mind are “Will my Social Security benefits be there when I retire?” and if so, "Is the estimate of what the government tells me I’ll get realistic?"

The Financial Planning Association has a Social Security Predictor on their website (click here then scroll down on the home page.) You can enter your age and general income level to see what percentage of your estimated benefit you are likely to get, as well as what future generations might receive. You can also read about the problems with the system and possible solutions to the shortfall – which unfortunately are not going to be painless. Politicians have been avoiding the issue for years, hoping they won’t have to be the ones to legislate the changes that will inevitably anger and hurt some taxpayers. The FPA hopes that if people see what is coming and get educated on Social Security they will voice their concerns to government and help push along some changes.

This predictor might ease some people’s mind that there won’t be anything left – even 20-year-olds are predicted to receive about 74% of their estimated benefit. But if we all want to maximize income for everyone we need to make this issue a priority.

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