Another Look at the Pervasive Pessimism About Social Security’s Future -;

Media accounts of the problems facing Social Security frequently serve as fodder for pessimism, with terms like “bankruptcy” and “broke” serving to fuel opinions that the program will be dead in less than a decade. It’s true that Social Security faces financial challenges, and it’s true that the program’s primary revenue source–FICA tax–does not cover current benefit payments. But it’s also true that benefits will continue to be paid beyond the projected date for depletion of cash reserves, although benefits would be reduced absent legislative action to reform the program. The real issue, then, is the need for Congressional action to implement the changes necessary to align Social Security with the reality of our 21st-century economy.

The efforts to address Social Security’s problems are once again heating up in Washington, but in the meantime, it’s helpful to address the pessimistic viewpoints expressed in many surveys. That’s the message in an article by GoBankingRate’s Crystal Mayer posted on the Finance page. The post, which you can access here, covers the Clever Real Estate survey finding from a few months ago that more than half of the “non-retired respondents said that they thought the Social Security program would run out before they could retire.respondents.”

Ms. Mayer provides an analysis of the reasoning behind the negativity surrounding Social Security’s prospects for the future and provides a clarifying account of how benefits are calculated–something that is not generally understood by many. Her post discusses the implications of filing early for benefits vs. delaying to take advantage of credits, and closes with commentary about future legislative efforts to address the program’s long-term picture.

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