Social Security may not be secure forever. Here, the legal experts at Disability Associates explain how Social Security works, and the problems Social Security benefits may face in the future.
Currently, ninety-six percent of workers in the United States are eligible for Social Security benefits. And, for those workers who are near to retirement, Social Security benefits are unlikely to be affected. But, for those in their 20s and 30s that are decades away from retirement, Social Security seems far more unstable.
A portion of your paycheck is taken as taxes for Social Security. This goes into a collective Social Security fund, used to pay Social Security for other retiring or disabled workers. When you retire, or if you become disabled and are unable to work, you can begin collecting Social Security benefits.
The number of years you’ve worked, the amount of money you’ve made and the age at which you retire all impact your Social Security benefits. Essentially, the longer you work, older you are and more money you make, the higher your benefit checks will be.
There is an application process for Social Security benefits, based on several factors. You must be 62 or older, and receive 40 credits to begin receiving benefits. Credits are earned as you pay into the Social Security fund, with 40 credits equaling approximately 10 years of full-time work. If you leave the work force, you will keep credits previously earned, and when you return, you will continue to once again earn credits.
So, what are the concerns with Social Security?
Namely, that funds are depleting at a faster rate than they are accruing. Due to the infamous Baby Boom, there have been a large number of adults in the workforce. Now, however, these Baby Boomers are beginning to retire while their beneficiaries have children at a slower rate. This means that there are likely to be fewer people in the workforce than beneficiaries, yielding less money spread among more people.
If nothing is done to input more money into Social Security, some economists predict that funds could run dry by 2035. After this, the amount in benefits any one person can receive will only come from whatever taxes are being paid in, as there will be no surplus funds lying in reserve. This will mean a substantial reduction in Social Security funds.
While governmental bodies are attempting to rectify the situation, it is likely that the Social Security landscape will be vastly different in 20 or so years. This means younger workers need to think critically about their retirement funds, and diversify their assets as much as possible.
Social Security is not going to disappear, necessarily, but it will be drastically reduced, and relying on it as a sole means of retirement funding would be unwise.
In such an unstable economic landscape, it is critical to have certified experts on your side. To learn more about your social security benefits, or to obtain help with your application, visit www.disabilityassociates.com.