A recent survey conducted by Nationwide Retirement Institute reveals that 75% of individuals aged 50 and above are concerned that Social Security will run out of funding within their lifetimes. This percentage has increased from 66% in 2014 as the depletion dates for the program’s funds draw closer. According to Social Security’s trustees, the combined funds of the program are projected to be depleted by 2034, with only 80% of benefits payable at that point. The uncertainty surrounding the future of Social Security is particularly alarming as more Americans rely on the program as their sole source of income.
While the topic of Social Security was not heavily discussed in the first Republican presidential debate, it remains a pressing concern for many Americans. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has expressed his commitment to protecting people’s Social Security while remaining open to reform. However, experts suggest that individuals should focus on their personal situation when developing a retirement claiming strategy instead of making decisions based on fears about the program’s future. Even if lawmakers fail to enact changes before the depletion dates, retirees are expected to receive around 77 cents on the dollar. Therefore, it is crucial to target a claiming strategy that maximizes individual benefits to ensure financial stability in retirement.
To make informed decisions about Social Security, it is essential for individuals to educate themselves on the program’s rules and understand their own eligibility. While almost half of adults claim to know how to maximize their benefits, only 13% accurately know their full retirement age. Consulting reliable sources, such as the Social Security Administration’s information, is encouraged to avoid costly mistakes. Setting up an online Social Security account can also help individuals estimate their retirement benefits and verify the accuracy of their earnings history. Consulting a financial advisor who specializes in Social Security can further assist in identifying the most advantageous claiming strategy based on individual circumstances. Ultimately, seeking help and guidance early on is crucial to avoid regrettable choices and secure a stable financial future.