“They are earning money and paying into Social Security and yet they fear they may never see the payback,” said Moloney. “They feel they deserve it, but it looks like a financial black hole to them right now.”
The government certainly is failing to pay for future obligations today instead choosing to raise taxes on the future. But Social Security itself is actually in better shape than most think. We really do need to move out the benefit payment date (when it began projected life expectancy was almost the same as the date payments would start – which would mean moving the retirement date more than 15 years later, I believe). Going that far is not needed but it should be moved back. But really social security is in good shape for 30 years or more. First, it isn’t going to go from good shape to failed in a day. And second, they will make adjustments as they have in the past to make it work (the adjustment they made in the last 15 years helped a great deal so now they can just add some additional delays in when it starts paying out… and extend the good condition of Social Security without too much trouble).
Medicare is the huge problem. The country either needs to stop paying an extra 50-80% for health care than other countries do (and thus reduce the cost of Medicare liabilities) or massively cut benefits or massively increase taxes. Likely a combination of all 3.
The 40% that have less than $25,000 should be worried. Not about social security, they will get everything they are promised by social security (the welfare aspect of social security will be the last thing cut – long before that is cut Bill Gates and other not quite so rich, will stop getting their checks which should give the system long enough to pay out even if other failures of the current politicians mean that the spending they did today costs too much for the taxpayers they are giving the bill to in the future) but that equals poverty if you don’t have much more that what social security provides coming in from other sources. Worry about the real problem, the lack of retirement savings and then do something about it. What? It isn’t very tricky. Save money.
Gen X are those born between 1965 and 1981.