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The Hard Truth

Some facts about Social Security

A majority of Americans who retire are entitled to Social Security payments, but how much do you really know about the service? There’s a lot of doom and gloom out there — Social Security is dead! — but thanks to a fact sheet released by the Social Security Administration (SSA) itself, we can clear up some misguided notions. Let’s go over some of the facts.

Millions of Americans are Covered

Social Security covers a lot of people. It will likely cover you. As USA Today reports, all you need to do to qualify for coverage is have at least 40 lifetime work credits (In 2017, you earn one credit for each $1,300 you make). In other words, if you only even work part-time for your entire working life, you’re likely getting some Social Security coverage later in life.

Most Workers Are Covered in the Event of a Long-term Disability

The SSA says that about 25 percent of today’s 20-year-old workers will become disabled in some way before they turn 67. Making matters worse, a majority of private workers (67 percent) have zero long-term disability insurance coverage. Thankfully,Social Security will step in. The SSA says that it would cover about 90 percent of today’s young workers if they end up with a long-term disability.

Payments Will Decline WHO SAYS THIS?

There are currently 48 million Americans aged 65 and older. By 2035, there will be about 79 million. That means, according to the SSA, that Social Security payments will decrease. The SSA says between 2017 and 2035, the worker-to-beneficiary ratio — currently 2.8-to-1 — will drop to 2.2-to-1. In other words, Social Security will likely be around when you retire, but you need to be saving as much as possible. Don’t rely on the SSA’s payments during your golden years.

Chris O'Shea

Chris O'Shea