Happy Birthday to what has become the lifeline to millions of Americans?many of whom are and still are entrepreneurs—Social Security.? The mammoth government agency that employs more than 65,000 people and whose traditional blue and white lettering has become a symbol of financial stability for Americans 62 years old and older, turns 80 years young in August. Question is will it still be around for another 80 years?
According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey, only 10 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 to 69 are ?very confident? that full Social Security benefits will be available come retirement time. To that end, about 18 percent believe they won’t receive any benefits and the program will be insolvent. Social Security provides about half of the total family income for 1 in 2 older Americans and it provides most income for 1 in 4.
According to the 2014 Trustees Report?the most recent report available, Social Security has a $2.8 trillion surplus and can pay full benefits for another 18 years. The surplus will be gone by the end of fiscal year 2033. At that time, if Congress takes no substantive action, revenue generated from payroll taxes would enable Social Security to only pay recipients about 77 percent of their full retirement benefits. That’s good news for the early Generation X population and potentially bad news for late GenX’ers (the Generation X population are those people born between 1960 through the early 1980’s.)
But not everyone is worried about the future of Social Security benefits.
?I encourage people to have other sources of retirement savings other than Social Security,? said Mark Wingo, president and CEO of New Beginning Financial Group in Minneapolis, MN. Wingo, a financial planner and author of the bestselling financial self-help book, ?Wingonomics.? He adds that having multiple streams of income will better prepare people for retirement.? ?A 401 (k) plan, Roth IRA’s, annuities, a pension plan and, most importantly, smart money management skills and wise investments can supplement Social Security benefits for retirees and enable you to live a financially secure retirement,? he said.