3/27/2017

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Is Social Security A Good Idea Or A Bad Idea

An important question facing Americans today is whether or not paying into the Social Security program worth it.

Without a doubt, Social Security has had a positive impact on the lifestyles of millions of Americans since President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935. Without the income and other services that Social Security provides, many children, seniors, and disabled people would have to live their lives in poverty. Although the program is far from being perfect, it provides a much needed life line to those who are in need of financial assistance.

Over the years, though, some have said that Social Security is no more than a massive government run program that doesn't live up to the ideals that it was supposedly created for. They say that Social Security is running out of money, that it doesn't benefit those who pay the most into it, and the people who get the majority of the benefits are low wage earners.

News headlines suggest that Social Security is on the verge of going broke and our children and grandchildren will be stuck with paying off the massive federal debt that it is creating. For many people, this doesn't make sense and the prospects of what will eventually happen is highly unacceptable. They say that what has happened in years past is that workers at every level could expect to receive more in benefits than the amount they paid into the system, but in the future, the benefits will level out or lower to slightly smaller dollar amounts.

As with any program that gets it's funding from taxes, there is reason to be concerned. Taxes are based on income, sales, property, and other factors and they are all based on the ups and downs of the economy.

Of course, some changes are needed to strengthen the system but according to many who follow Social Security closely, it is far from going broke. Even though the actual dollar amounts received in benefits will decrease over time, Social Security payments will still remain a positive stream of income for retirees far into the future.

What about the stock and real estate markets? As we have seen in the recent economic upheavals in this country and around the world, the stock market isn't as safe of a bet as it was once thought.

  • Millions of retirees, and workers who were close to retirement, lost their life savings when the stock market collapsed in the early 2000's.
  • Many of them also lost their homes and other real estate holdings to foreclosure or have found themselves upside down on their mortgages and cannot find relief.

This highlights the importance of Social Security. It may not be what everyone wants it to be, but it is a necessity in the lives of millions of Americans who are going to need the benefits at some point in the future.

For more information on Social Security benefits, contact your local Social Security Administration Office or visit their web site at www.socialsecurity.gov.

 

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