If you work in the US, you get these letters every so often from the Social Security Administration to let you know what your benefits will be, or would be, based on wages, taxes paid, etc. They are just depressing, since in my tax bracket, I actually put more money into SS than I will get back if I die before the age of 132.
Yes, that is right, I will never get back all that I put into SS. Nevermind the fact I should be paid interest on my contributions. Why was privatizing such a bad idea?
Anyways, I received one of these letters, and it had a section in it entitled “Will Social Security still be around when I retire?“. Look to the right, there is a scan of this image.
I love how it says “Yes.” at the very begining and then goes on to try and quantify that answer with the basic assumtion you, the reader, didnt pass 2nd grade math.
So, according to this, the money will be gone in 2037. I hate to point out the fact I dont reach age rull retirement age (67) until 2044. Not inspiring a lot of trust with already failing in the numbers department.
Then it goes on to say that if nothing is done, in 2037, they should be able to pay about 76% of the benefits to which I am entitiled. WHAT?!
So just to clarify, Social Security will run out of money ~7 years before I am at full retirement age, AND will only be able to pay 76% of the benefits scheduled, which already are only about 80% of what I paid in, with no interest.
How was the answer “Yes.” to the question “Will Social Security still be around when I retire?“? You just said we will run out of money years before I am elegible to retire, and even then I wont recieve all that I should.
What have we learned? First and foremost, like healthcare, the goverment has great ideas, really, they are good ideas, they just have no fricking clue on how to execute it. None!
Secondly, the correct answer to the question “Will Social Security still be around when I retire?“, is “No. Not really.”
If you want, contact your folks in Congress, let them know this is a bunch of crap, and now is the time to start fixing it, not 2037, or 2044, or whenever it is you will retire, or (God forbid), need disability. And if you think you don’t need to save for retirement, go take a 2×4, hit yourself in the head, and start drawing disability now. Learning to live on that income is the ONLY way you will not need your own retirement setup.