Retire Better: What most people get wrong about Social Security

by | Mar 8, 2023 | Stock Market

It is by far the biggest source of federal spending—and arguably the most complex and misunderstood. I’m talking about Social Security, the $1.2 trillion behemoth that affects every single American.    Last year, Uncle Sam spent $1.196 trillion on Social Security. But this year, with some 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, and monthly payouts tied to inflation up 8.7%—well, you do the math. 

Most folks know, or should, that they are eligible to receive Social Security as early as age 62—if they meet certain criteria, namely if you have worked long enough and paid into the system long enough. This alone is somewhat complicated, and here is a one-page explanation from the Social Security Administration that can help you determine whether you are qualified (chances are you are). Read: ‘I don’t think I can wait until 70’: I’m still working at 66. Should I wait or claim Social Security now? But there are lots of things beyond this that are complex, misunderstood, and sometimes poorly explained in the media. Here are some of the biggest myths surrounding Social Security—and the facts.  Myth: Social Security won’t be there for me.  Fact: Actually, Social Security will be there when you retire. The question, however, is how much of it will be there?   This is because the Social Security Trustees, during both the Trump and now Biden administrations, have bluntly warned that the Social Security Trust Fund is paying out more than it is taking in. The current projection is that the current surplus will run out in 2035.  Without changes in how Social …

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