Social Security has been part of the American way of life since April of 1935, 87 years ago. Since then, it has become a source of inflation-adjusted income for retirees, the disabled, and their dependents and survivors. Today, more than 70 million Americans benefit from the system.
Along the way, the Social Security program received adjustments and updates to reflect changes in the economy and the population. Annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) have been added, the retirement age for full benefits increased while the minimum retirement age lowered albeit with reduced benefits. In 1983 President Reagan signed a law taxing 50% of social security benefits for individuals earning above $25,000 and $32,000 for married couples filing jointly. President Clinton followed suit in 1993, increasing the amount of Social Security benefits that could be taxed to 85 percent for single beneficiaries with incomes above $34,000 or $44,000 for a married couple.
In the ensuing 87 years since Social Security was introduced, it has helped to serve as part of a financial safety net for older Americans. The key word being “part”. Social Security was never intended to be a retirement plan. And according to recent predictions it may be even less so in the future.
On March 31, 2023, the annual report from the Social Security trustees projected that the two trust funds from which benefits are paid would run short in 2034, after which only about 80 percent of benefits could be paid. How Washington will address this shortfall is yet to be seen.
At One Financial Services, our team is here to help you prepare for retirement taking all your sources of retirement income into consideration, including your Social Security benefits. Based on your current and projected future income, how much will your benefit be? When should you begin taking that benefit? Will your benefit be taxable? Are you in an age group that will likely have reduced benefits?
Your One Financial Services Wealth Advisor will review your many options and help to develop a plan designed to provide a comfortable retirement for you and your family.