No one likes to talk about it, especially the politicians. But retirement is becoming less and less of an option for younger generations. Last year almost eight million Americans over the age of sixty-five were still employed at least part time. That’s a record high, not just in numbers, but also in terms of percentage. As an idea, Social Security is a good one; the ability to collectively care for our society’s elderly is a noble goal. But in terms of practice, there needs to be money in place in order to make the entitlement work. In 2011, a report from the Social Security Administration declared it could be out of money by as early as 2036. We know that sounds like some futuristic far-off date, but it’s only 22 years from now. Many of us have mortgages that go past that date. To put it in perspective, Bill Clinton took office as President of the United States 22 years ago.
Kinda changes the look of the landscape, doesn’t it?
Of course we’re not trying to frighten you, that would just be counterproductive for all of us. But we are saying what has been thought of as a solid, stable institution of American Society for decades might actually have a shelf life shorter than we think. Part of the reason is most Americans are living much longer than they were in the 1960’s. This means people are on social security for longer periods of time and taking more money out of the Social Security trust fund than ever before. This obviously has a strain on the monetary stability of the program and can have a potentially severe effect on us all before too long.
Unfortunately, many people operate under the misconception that we pay into our own Social Security accounts. This is not the case. The money taken out of your paycheck goes directly to the trust fund, which then pays money to retirees. This means that when you reach retirement age, you will be depending on a system that takes money from young worker’s paychecks to put into the trust fund and then redistribute that to you. What you get each month will be determined by how much money you made in the course of your life.
Why are we talking about this? Mostly to give you an idea of what might be in store for your future. Even if you are as old as fifty, you could still get a job with a good pension and pay into a 401k for twenty years, retiring in pretty good shape when you reach the age of 70. If the job you have now is insufficient to meet those future needs, there are a lot of training courses, many of which last just a few weeks, that can put you in a position to get a better job, with better benefits, and a better looking retirement scenario. Of course, those training programs do cost money, and if you don’t have any extra, come see us at CASH 1 to get started on what might be the best investment you’ve ever made: yourself.