Before you succumb to the doomsayers, read the recently released Social Security Board of Trustees’ annual report on the financial health of the program.
If it doesn’t put you to sleep first, this bipartisan report should calm some of your fears.
The report didn’t point out much that was new. Instead, it reiterated that Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Today’s workers pay for current retirees. The baby boomer bubble has been paying into this system for nearly 50 years. They’ve built up a sizable trust fund that will keep the system solvent until 2036, when the earliest baby boomers who turned 65 this year will be 90 years old — or dead. At that point, there still will be sufficient payroll taxes coming in to pay about 77 percent of benefits at the levels that are promised today, even though by current projections there will be fewer workers.
Is it always fair, no, but as my mother said, life isn’t fair. But for most people, Social Security is what makes retirement possible. It provides a dependable monthly income to 50 million retired workers and workers with disabilities, their dependents and their survivors. It keeps more than 13 million low-income and disabled people from falling into poverty.