Will Social Security retire before you do?

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People have traditionally seen Social Security benefits as the foundation of their retirement planning programs. The Social Security contributions deducted from workers’ paychecks have, in effect, served as a government-enforced retirement savings plan.

However, the Social Security system is under increasing strain. Better health care and longer life spans have resulted in an increasing number of people drawing Social Security benefits. As the baby boom generation (those born between 1946 and 1964) retires, even greater demands are being placed on the system.

In 1950, there were 16.5 active workers to support each person receiving Social Security benefits. In 2015, there were only 2.8 workers supporting each Social Security beneficiary. And it is projected that there will be only 2.2 active workers to support each Social Security beneficiary by 2035.1 While Social Security faces fiscal challenges and an uncertain future, many proposals to reform Social Security are on the table.

Although it’s still unclear what the future holds for Social Security, your financial future is still in your hands. Save as much for retirement as possible in case Social Security ends up playing a more limited role in your retirement income plan than you had anticipated.

To get an estimate of your future Social Security benefits based on current law, consider signing up for a my Social Security account so that you can view your online Social Security Statement. If you’re not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you’ll receive a statement in the mail every five years, from age 25 to age 60, and then annually thereafter.

1) Social Security Administration, 2016 OASDI Trustees Report