Weekend Reading: Don’t Panic! Social Security Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

This article appears as part of Casey Weade's Weekend Reading for Retirees series. Every Friday, Casey highlights four hand-picked articles on trending retirement topics and delivers them straight to your email inbox. Get on the list here.
Weekend reading dont panic social security isnt going away Weekend reading dont panic social security isnt going away
Weekend Reading

While policymakers have reforming to do, rest assured, Social Security is more than likely here to stay.


Where we are now: If you’re near or in retirement today, you should continue to expect most (if not all) of your legislated benefits. As such, it’s important to be wary of making your Social Security claiming decision based solely on fearful speculation. Although the Social Security fund is projected to be exhausted by the mid-2030s, it doesn't mean the program will collapse.

Potential fixes: Numerous policy actions can be taken to ensure Social Security's financial stability. Some could affect you, while others won't. Options include raising the payroll tax rate, increasing or eliminating the cap on taxable earnings, reintroducing the tax at higher wealth levels or gradually raising the full retirement age to 70.

Should you plan for the worst? Despite the likelihood of benefit cuts being low, preparing for the worst-case scenario might be advisable for those who couldn’t absorb a reduction in future anticipated income. If benefits are reduced by 20-to-25 percent, prompt consideration of increased savings and securing other forms of guaranteed income may be necessary.

Ask yourself: What role will Social Security play in your retirement income strategy? If it’s a primary component that greatly impacts your standard of living, it might be worth your peace of mind to plan ahead for any scenario.