Will Social Security End?

We in the US often hear that the Social Security program is not sustainable, and that by the time we (or some other group of unfortunates) become eligible to collect there will be no money left for us and we will have to beg on the streets or starve. If you look at the charts and extrapolate that seems like a possibility. But if you do a reality check, it ain’t gonna happen. It’s just an entitlement program funded by taxes, and there will always be entitlement programs and taxes. Think about it–can Congress really allow a huge constituency (of both Democrats and Republicans) to be cheated out of their retirement money which they themselves have contributed for the entire working lives? No way. Congress might defer the age of eligibility, or slow down the rate at which it increases for inflation, but everyone will still get their money (or at least most of it).

Some purveyors of get-rich-quick trading courses (or “systems” as they like to call them) like to use this as a scare tactic. “You’ll end up with nothing! Take our course so you can make enough money so you don’t need social security!” Don’t believe it. Turn on your BS detector. As usual, common sense is your friend.

Social security started during the Great Depression, when people sold apples on street corners to survive. They grew their own vegetables and mended their own clothes. They didn’t have monthly subscriptions for phone, wifi, Netflix, iTunes, and The Cloud. They survived without Starbucks, zumba classes, and meals at restaurants several times a week. Social security enabled people to get by.

I’m not saying you will live comfortably on social security alone. I don’t know of many people alive today with the discipline to get by at that modest standard of living. Most of us would like other sources of income after we’re no longer working. So if you want to maintain the lifestyle to which you have (or would like to) become accustomed, you will probably need to supplement your social security. A disciplined approach to stock investing can certainly help, especially if you start early. Remember the fable of the grasshopper and the ant.

– DG

#retirementplanning #socialsecurity #valuestockjournal


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