Bush > How Secure is Social Security?

| February 28, 2015

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Stacy Bush, Valdosta Today Business Contributor

If you’re retired or close to retiring, then you’ve probably got nothing to worry about–your Social Security benefits will likely be paid to you in the amount you’ve planned on (at least that’s what most of the politicians say). But what about the rest of us?

The Media Onslaught

Watching the news, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper, you’ve probably come across story after story on the health of Social Security. And, depending on the actuarial assumptions used and the political slant, Social Security has been described as everything from a program in need of some adjustments to one in crisis requiring immediate, drastic reform.

Obviously, the underlying assumptions used can affect one’s perception of the solvency of Social Security, but it’s clear some action needs to be taken. However, even experts disagree on the best remedy.

Uncertain Outcome

Members of Congress and the President still support efforts to reform Social Security, but progress on the issue has been slow. However, the SSA continues to urge all parties to address the issue sooner rather than later, to allow for a gradual phasing in of any necessary changes.

Although debate will continue on this polarizing topic, there are no easy answers, and the final outcome for this decades-old program is still uncertain.

In the Meantime, What Can You Do?

The financial outlook for Social Security depends on a number of demographic and economic assumptions that can change over time, so any action that might be taken and who might be affected are still unclear. But no matter what the future holds for Social Security, your financial future is still in your hands. Focus on saving as much for retirement as possible, and consider various income scenarios when planning for retirement.

It’s also important to understand your benefits, and what you can expect to receive from Social Security based on current law. You can find this information on your Social Security Statement, which you can access online at the Social Security website, www.socialsecurity.gov by signing up for a my Social Security account. Your statement contains a detailed record of your earnings, and includes retirement, disability, and survivor’s benefit estimates that are based on your actual earnings and projections of future earnings. If you’re not registered for an online account and are not yet receiving benefits, you’ll receive a statement in the mail every five years, from age 25 to age 60, and then annually thereafter.


Stacy Bush has practiced independent financial advising in the Valdosta area for 14 years. Growing up on a farm in Donalsonville, Georgia, he is keen to the financial needs of South Georgia and North Florida families. Stacy and his wife, Carla, live in Valdosta with their four children. You can submit questions about this article to askstacybush@lpl.com

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