Will Social Security Be There When I Retire?

by Byron Moore,  June 2017

Q: Should I plan on Social Security being there for me when I retire?

A: Yes, if you are a worker covered by Social Security, you’ll receive a monthly income from Social Security when you retire.

How much? That depends on how much you earn during your working years and how well the government can manage the ever-escalating costs of delivering these benefits.

In prior columns I’ve discussed the financial problems of Social Security, which can be summarized as “too few workers, too many retirees.” The plan isn’t going to go broke – but neither can it continue as promised. Either taxes are going up, or benefits are going down…or maybe some of both.

When that will happen is anybody’s guess – it’s been a can both political parties have kicked down the road for decades. And there’s probably enough wiggle room left to kick it down the road a few more years yet. But one day…

What doesn’t need to be put off is doing everything you can do to maximize your own Social Security benefits. Here’s how.

Know your numbers. The Social Security Administration has an easy to navigate website (www.ssa.gov) that allows you to obtain an estimate of your Social Security benefits. Obviously the closer you are to retirement the more accurate these benefit projections will be. This is the best place to start to get a feel for the benefits Social Security will offer you.

The website gives you an option to print your four-page Social Security Statement or save it to your computer. Do this as you’ll need this information for the next step.

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