Social Security won't be around like it was for previous generations. What are Americans who have yet to retire doing about? Yahoo! News asked readers to share their strategies. Here's one.
FIRST PERSON | For the first time in the short history of Social Security, Americans retiring today will receive less in benefits than they paid in over a lifetime. As bad as that news is, it only gets worse, especially for my generation. In fact, at 37, I will not hit retirement age until December 2039. All this is bad news, although it's not a shock to me, and I've been warned since I was a teenager to prepare for my retirement without relying on Social Security. This is exactly what I've done.
The well's running dry. There are so many projections as to when the Social Security funds will be depleted. The CBO says 2040, while other sources say it can be as early as 2033. No matter which way it's viewed, the problem is there, and unless it gets addressed in a timely manner, there won't be Social Security forever. Unfortunately, that likely means little to none for me.
My grandfather warned me when I was 16 that Social Security would quite likely be gone by the time I reached 65. Since I turn 65 one month before the CBO's 2040 projected implosion, it looks as though my grandfather might have hit the nail on the head.
Though a little disheartening, since I have been paying some level of Social Security taxes over the past 22 years, I created a retirement plan long ago that doesn't rely on Social Security. This includes contributing regularly to my Roth IRA and, lately, this has meant accepting I likely will be working past 65.
Running a small business in Port Saint Lucie, Fla., I have learned to expect the unexpected and if asked just one year ago whether I thought I could retire without Social Security at age 65, I would have said the prospects were great. But an unexpected downturn has hit my business and I will make only $25,000 this year compared to $40,000 last year. That's meant saving almost nothing this year and my retirement plan getting skewed a bit. Now retirement seems like a fantasy.
However, overlooked in the whole Social Security debacle is the chance that it could be salvaged. Granted, it will take a lot of work and some big political compromises. But there is a possibility that this unexpected scenario could happen, leaving me with hopes of retirement again.
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