I know a lot of people are inclined to believe there is something wrong with Social Security, and that it won't be there for them. I'd like to offer some facts, as I understand them, about the state of Social Security.
When Social Security was created, average life expectancy was 65. Since retirement was also 65, most people would turn 65, collect for a few months, and die. Today people are living to 80, which puts a huge strain on the system.
Average life expectancy is a totally irrelevant statistic. 65 is an AVERAGE which includes the high infant and childhood mortality rates of the day. Very few people actually DIED at 65, statistically speaking. The IMPORTANT question is, once you made it to 65, what was your life expectancy? The answer: 12 more years.
Today, although the AVERAGE life expectancy is higher, a 65 year old can expect to live 15 more years. This reperesents a mere 3 year increase. As you know, the rietirement age has already been adjusted to account for this.
When Social Security first started, there were 16 workers for every person collecting. Now there are only 2 or 3. That puts a strain on the system.
WHO cares what the ratio was in year one? This is an irrelevant statistic. Five minutes after the first guy started collecting the ratio must have been a MILLION to one. The system was DESIGNED for a 2 or 3 to one ratio.
Social Security just flat out won't be there for me when I need it.
The most recent Social Security trustees’ report shows that the system can pay all scheduled benefits until 2042. After that, some minor tweaking, such as raising the cutoff from $90,000/yr to something a bit higher, will take care of it.
Barbara B. Kennelly, head of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, says private accounts change the intent of Social Security. "What the president’s plan does is take Americans out of the community pool, where we share the risk, and put each of us into our own pool of one to fend for ourselves," she says. "That’s fine if you’re rich.