I got the inspiration to write this article, Are You Counting on Social Security? while watching our very contentious Election results here in the United States. A republican leader while celebrating the victory, was excited about the fact that one of their platforms, the privatizing of the Social Security Retirement Program; could once again be addressed.
As a senior citizen receiving social security benefits, I have many concerns about this.
Are You Counting on Social Security?
When I retired, my husband had a 6 figure income job. When the economy got shaky around 2008, he was relieved of his job and basically let go after many years of service. So, my husband too was forced to go on Social Security. Oh, we had some money saved and a pension plan but after awhile we had to dig into our savings just to make ends meet.
Many of you can relate I am sure of that!
I will address some concerns in this post as I am sure I am not the only one. Rumors have been floating around for a few years now about the solvency of Social Security and I tend to believe that there might be an element of truth to these rumors. My hope in writing this post is that I can also help others like myself looking for answers.
By the way, I am no expert regarding Social Security, I am like you; but I have been staying on top of the news and reading everything I can get my hands on. So, some of this information that I will share will be from my research and where ever possible I will indicate my sources so you can do your own due diligence. If you google Social Security you will find tons of information at your disposal.
So lets get started…….
First, A little History and background about Social Security
Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935. This program was intended to be like an insurance program. Workers would be able to protect each other and their families to provide income when the worker retired if they paid into the system.
Did you know that Social Security is the largest government program in the world?
Did you know that since 2010 the Social Security trust fund has been paying out more benefits than what employees contribute in taxes and is said to run out of funds by 2034?
That is not too far away from now my friends. Yep you got it! Social Security running out of funds REALLY concerns me. And it SHOULD REALLY concern you too if you are counting on social security after retirement.
Many Americans Rely on Social Security for Income if Unable to Work.
Initially workers who reached 65 years of age and older were eligible to receive benefits upon retirement. Over time the program came to be known as the Old-Age Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI). In 1939, additional benefits were made available for spouses and minor children of retired workers and also benefits were made available for the survivors of a worker who died before retirement.
On a personal note, this survivors benefit was paid to my grandson when his mom passed away at the tender age of 28. He was only 4 at the time of her passing. This money was needed to help my son raise his only child, as a single dad.
The disability benefit was added in 1956. The minimum age for retirement benefits for women was lowered to 62 years of age. The men had to wait until 1961 to receive benefits at 62.
Here’s a little bit of bad news……I didn’t know this.
The Social Security Act entitles workers to receive benefits. However, these benefits are not guaranteed by law. The federal government legally can choose to not pay you what you paid into the system over their working careers.
How does that make you feel? Remember earlier when I said I had concerns? Well, this is one of them……..The government can just take our monthly income that we paid into and is rightfully our money away and there isn’t anything you can do about it.
How will you pay your mortgage. food, bills etc. Are you filthy rich? I congratulate you. But, I am not….this would devastate me!
Well, No I am not! At the end of this post I will share with you what I am doing to make sure I do have income in my retirement years that the federal government can’t control. So, please stay with me and read to the end…. you will be glad you did! Click Here for a hint!
Should Social Security be Privatized?
I wasn’t sure if I should include this in my post but it too is related to one of my concerns. You see, one of the proposals being considered is privatizing Social Security. Which would allow workers to manage their own retirement funds..
Now, my understanding of this is that part of Social Security (government administered) would be handed over to the retirees to hand over to investment brokers who may or may not help grow the workers money. Do you see some pitfalls in this?
Politicians Proposing to Privatize Social Security
Politicians feel that workers should be given the freedom to invest their money the way they see fit. But in my humble opinion I don’t know about you, many seniors have no idea…..well lets, just say there are bunches of unscrupulous money managers that would love to get a hold of your money.
To be fair, I know that there pros and cons regarding this proposal and you should get more information than what I am providing. I researched over 5 independent sources to verify what I already knew which prompted me to share with my readers. Below is one that I used among others. It’s one of my go to sites to verify other articles.
So you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
Are You Counting on Social Security?
Well I got some good news! It’s not all bad. The more than 60 million Social Security recipients are getting a raise! Yippee!!!! It’s a cost of living raise. Don’t get too excited. It’s only expected to be around 0.03%.
That is the smallest Social Security increase on record! Don’t spend it all in one place. I know I am being sarcastic…….but come on.
Congress wants a raise because they can’t live on $174,000 a years.
However, we retirees are expected to live on between $750 per month to about $1800 a month on average. Some people live on less and some on more. – according to Social Security Administration.
I know that I presented a negative spin on what is happening with Social Security in The United States by asking Are You Counting on Social Security? I know that there are many people who have retired, like myself. living in other countries. Yes, I live in Puerto Rico which is a United States possession, and for the time being all is well. But, what if that were to change? Would you be able to stay where you are or would you have to move back with your kids?
Would you like to know how I am preparing for my retirement? Please give yourself a wonderful gift that will change your life forever. Mine has. Please go here to learn more.
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