SOCIAL SECURITY— A Reality Check
How often have you heard a younger person declare that Social Security means nothing to them, because they “won’t ever collect it, anyway.”? Or that Social Security is going broke?
Here’s a good dose of reality via some facts about this important program for boomers and seniors as we plan and live out our lives:
- For the last quarter century, Social Security has been taking in more than it has been paying out, and currently has a $2.5 trillion reserve fund invested in government bonds.
- The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that, even without any modifications, the reserve fund and payroll taxes will cover full payment of benefits for another 33 years.
- The system pays benefits to about 53 million Americans every month.
- Fifty percent of those 50+ say Social Security is and will be more important to retirement than they expected when they were younger.
- Twenty-five percent say they rely or plan to rely on it for most of their retirement income.
- More women (29%) than men (22%) say Social Security is or will be most of their retirement income.
- Social Security has helped to drastically reduce the poverty rate among the country’s elderly, from 35% in 1960, to less than 10% today.
- According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, Social Security provides 40% of the income of those 65 and up today. (June 2010)
- There is a definite age gap when it comes to understanding what role Social Security may/will play in our retirement: 29% of people under 50 say they expect to be able to rely on savings and investments for most of their retirement income, but Only 12% of those over 50 share this view.
(source: aarp.org/bulletin, july/august 2010)
Perhaps boomers and seniors should be focused on reforming this key economic system for future generations, rather than engaging in any talk of its impending failure or relative unimportance, which cannot be justified by the facts. And make sure your children and grandchildren and their friends now the facts as well. It will benefit all of us.