Did you know that the age at which many workers will qualify for full Social Security benefits has risen to 67 from 65? If that’s news to you, you’re not alone: The majority of workers are still in the dark about Social Security eligibility requirements and many expect to qualify for benefits payments sooner than they actually will.
Combined with lingering questions about the long-term financial health of the overall Social Security program, these facts reinforce the importance of understanding exactly what you might expect from Social Security during your retirement.
The exact amount of your Social Security benefit will depend upon your earnings history. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), your benefits will be there for you when you retire. However, the SSA also acknowledges that some changes to the present system may be required.
For example, when Social Security was created, the average life span was less than 65 years. But today, many people are living longer, healthier lives. The 2012 Social Security Trustees Report projects that the number of retired workers will grow rapidly, as members of the post–World War II baby boom continue to reach early retirement age, and will double in fewer than 30 years.1
What’s in Store?
Ideally, Social Security takes in more in taxes each year than it pays out in benefits. But according to projections by the SSA in its trustees’ 2012 annual report, the old age and disability trust funds combined will be unable to pay full benefits commencing in 2033. Recognition of these issues is growing, and legislators are now looking at funding and investment options to resolve them.
While your Social Security benefits are an important piece of the retirement income equation, you probably shouldn’t plan to rely on Social Security alone for your future income. Your employer-sponsored retirement savings plan, company pension, and personal savings may need to provide the major portion of your income in retirement.
Ivie P. Burns, II
Senior Vice President
The Burns and Binkley Group at Morgan Stanley – Murfreesboro
804 North Thompson Lane
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
The Burns and Binkley Group at Morgan Stanley – Franklin
2000 Meridian Blvd.
Franklin, TN 37067
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