Weekend Reading: The Future of Social Security: Look at History to Find Solutions

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.
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Weekend Reading

You hear Social Security is going broke. But what’s the reality? While the system isn’t disappearing, a revision needs to be implemented before Social Security’s estimated 2035 insolvency, at which point 80 percent of benefits can be paid out. Simply put, that makes this a 20 percent problem – not an all-or-nothing issue.


Looking back to move forward: Since 1935, Social Security has been through 14 reforms, with its most recent major revision in the early 1980s. During this time, Congress implemented changes to solve Social Security’s shortfall by increasing the full retirement age, increasing tax thresholds, adjusting COLA calculations and several other modifications. Now, less tax is being collected than benefits can be paid out, and while the Social Security Administration has been cashing in bonds to fund the difference, changes need made prior to 2035. Some proposed solutions include:

📌 Increase the retirement age gradually.

📌 Increase the percentage we pay into Social Security.

📌 Raise the cap on Social Security earnings.

📌 Other (less popular) proposed fixes: Cap benefits at a certain income level, reduce/eliminate COLA adjustments, change the formula so less benefits are received in the future and allow workers to discontinue paying into Social Security altogether.

Your Social Security benefits aren’t going anywhere. However, if you want to ensure you’re making the most informed decision in maximizing your monthly paycheck, make sure you partner with a professional.