Whether you’re already retired or are planning the big event, it’s important for you to understand all you can about your social security benefits. Even if you have an adequate pension program, you will probably rely on social security to maintain your current standard of living once you retire. The only way to ensure that your retirement is comfortable and stress-free is to plan well. And the only way to create a successful plan is to have the most current information.
According to the Social Security Administration, there are currently 60 million people collecting social security benefits. More than half of recipients depend on this benefit for more than half of their income. Since more people are retiring each year and life expectancies are longer, the system is strained. In fact, so much dependency on government income will create a social security shortfall by the year 2033. If no changes are made, it is reported that there will need to be an estimated 21% across the board cut.
During his campaign, President-Elect Donald Trump promised to protect this resource by increasing jobs rather than making cuts. However, this is contrary to the stance of other Republicans, who are already proposing cuts and other changes. Among these changes is the maintenance of benefits for only the lowest-income group. This would reduce monthly amounts for most recipients. Also, Republicans have proposed raising the full retirement age for those born after 1954. Their rationale is that only these drastic changes will save the program.
Many others understand that changes are necessary, but who firmly believe that more modest measures could be useful. Rather than cause harm to all recipients, they describe two basic adjustments. Raising the level of wages now subject to taxes, from the current $118,500 to $225,000, coupled with a slight rise in FICA, could fund the program for years into the future.
There are serious issues with the Social Security program and the next few years will prove critical to its future. Regardless of your age, you need to pay attention to all the news surrounding this issue.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re too young to care. Get the information, support common sense changes, and do your planning. Your future income depends on it.