Social Security – Why You Should Be Worried!

UGH!! I just finished reading an article about Social Security running out a few years earlier than expected. In 2033, Social Security benefits will pay out only 75% of the scheduled amounts.

The article was quick to let those who have already retired know that they don’t need to worry. Their benefits will remain at 100%. But he went on to say, “If you’re under age 40, start worrying.” Really?! The only reason you should be worried about Social InSecurity is if it is your hope and only plan for retirement!

By the way, that’s a horrible plan. Even President Roosevelt felt so. From the SSA website: Social Security was never meant to be the only source of income for people when they retire.

For the love, please have a plan! Don’t put your trust in the government to take care of you when you get older. I can tell you. The government’s way of handling someone I loved wasn’t pretty.

Instead, take some easy steps to “secure” your future:

  • Get out of debt – Over and over, I tell people that debt robs them of their options. When you have all of your income and no debt, you can build wealth and build it faster. How do you do this? Get on a budget that works and live on less than you make. That’s pretty simple. The hard part is the accountability.
  • Invest already! – Investing isn’t as scary as it sounds. Once you are debt-free but your mortgage, start putting 15% away in a 401K and/or Roth IRA. Don’t invest in single stocks or gold. For right now, only focus on Mutual Funds.
  • Insure yourself – What you don’t want to happen is getting to retirement and something catastrophic wipes out all of your investments. Instead, make sure you have Term Life Insurance if someone depends on your income. Also get Long-Term Disability Insurance in case something happens to you and you can’t work, or you have outrageous medical bills. It’s also a good idea to get LTDI on parents over 60. It doesn’t cost that much.

These are just a few of the things you can do to keep from worrying about Social Security, as some would have you do. Now, without making this look like a total promotion instead of me wanting to help, I didn’t advertise all the ways to do it. Instead, you can click on the bullet points to see how. Or just ask a question in the comments.

Question: What are you doing to ensure your future?

Resources:

Business Plan Budget and Action Plan

5 Free Resources To Build Your Business

How To Replace Worry With Peace

 

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32 thoughts on “Social Security – Why You Should Be Worried!”

  1. To ensure our future, my wife and I are “living like no one else”.  We have always been frugal (no cable, one car, etc), but we’re getting more serious about creating income opportunities that will help us to knock out debt (and stay out of debt), save, and give.
     
    I have also become focused on my health since I realize that none of my efforts will do any good if I’m not around for my wife and children.  As 29 yr olds, we have no plans of needing the government when we are of “retirement” age.  Lord willing, I honestly don’t plan to stop doing the things I love while generating an income from them until I leave this Earth.

  2. Thanks to you and Dave Ramsey I’m debt free, invested and insured!  I’m not worried about social security running out because I never believed it would be around by the time I retired any way.  When I look at my pay check and see money taken out for social security I see it as a gift to the older generation.  And like @DevinDabney I plan on “working” until I leave this Earth. Not because I need to but because I want to.  My Grandad died at the age of 83 after working on his farm all day.  Before he went to bed that night he told my Grandma he felt like he could live to be 100! There’s something to be said for working more than a JOB and counting down the days until you retire.  But I’m young and maybe nieve.
     

  3. Hi Chris,
    GREAT post!
    Wow, the blessings our family has received from getting out from over $146,000 worth of debt as well as paying for over $30,000 worth of medical in exactly 3 years – it simply has been amazing!!! We are working our butts off today for a better tomorrow…something we neglected in the past as we always assumed “tomorrow would be just fine”.
    Just within the past week, we had a major family event that caused us to put our snowball debt on hold. We are so thankful that we are in a position to help a loved family member…without having that debt paid off, there is NO way we would have been in the situation we are to help. What a true blessing to have it be a inconvenience rather than a bunch of trauma and drama financially.
    While we can’t change what happens around us, we can control how we respond to it and prepare for it.
    Many blessings and keep up the great work!
    Live Beyond Awesome!
    Jen McDonough

  4. We’re debt-free except for our mortgage. Attending FPU allowed me to change the way I thought about money, retirement and investing.  Before then, I had no plan to invest for the future. I thought I’d always be healthy enough to work until I’m 92. I have an awesome husband who has always been debt-free (never had a student loan or car payment) and now we’re on the same page with a solid life plan and are making great decisions.
     
    In our 8 years of marriage, we’ve been through multiple job changes, lived in 6 different homes, have been unemployed, had two kids, lost three parents… and stayed debt-free through all of it.  Social Security is NOT part of our retirement plan. 
     
    I definitely was not raised this way.  My parents financed EVERYTHING and my dad died pretty much broke. My mom currently lives with dignity on a SS pension, but any unexpected high expenses would put her in a bind.  I don’t want that to be my future.
     
    My four-year-old daughter asks me if I have a coupon when we go shopping or if the item she wants to buy is on sale. She saves “sticker” money (rewards for good behavior) to buy ONE item at the dollar store. It makes me think that we are doing something right.
     
     

    1. Oh my gosh you’re definitely doing stuff right!  My wife was the catalyst for me.  She worked for Dave for 6 years and she turned me into a Dave freak!  Now we’re rockin with money as a unit, leading FPU and spreading the word as much as possible. 

    2.  @lilykreitinger You’re definitely crushing it, girlfriend!   A four year old on the “commission” system is an indication that our children will be better with finances than we are!  And you sound like you’re doing pretty good yourself!  

  5. Wonderful words of wisdom Chris. Thank you for sharing.
     
    I’m sure you wanted to keep your blog short but let me tack this on as well; think of the psychological benefits available when one makes a shift into a more empowered, self-reliant state.
     
    Now that my friend would change the world. 

  6. We just did our debt-free scream in Dave’s lobby one month ago today, and many of our friends, family, and coworkers ask us if we’re going to “slow down” a bit now and relax.  
    We are on Baby Step 3, and need to fatten up our Emergency Fund.  Then, when Dave says you can let your foot off the gas a bit on Baby Step 4/5/6, we have to keep up our intensity.
    We are both 41, we have 4 and 2 year old boys, and have not contributed to our retirement in 4 years.
    So we are not going to slow down a bit.  We have 2 college funds, a mortgage in Atlantis (sorry, I mean Sarasota, Florida!), and two measly retirements to attack in the next 20 years.
    The last thing we plan on doing is relying on Uncle Sam to help us!  

    1.  @skottydog  I don’t think you ever let the foot off the gas.   The best thing you’re teaching your kids is how to hold on to their faith and how to handle money. And they can’t even read yet!  You guys are doing great! And the best thing is that you’re passing it on and sharing with others. Woohooo!! 

    2. livebeyondrich

      CONGRATS!!!!!!!
      We have had our retirement on hold for 3 years to pay down debt as well…very excited to start back up in another year.
      Scottydog…so exciting for your family!!! What date did you do your debt free scream and during what hour? I am going to go back and listen to on the TTMO site. VERY COOL!
      Jen

      1. @livebeyondrich Thanks, Jen! Nice to meet others that have drank the Kool-Aid!
        We did our scream on 3/30/12, hour 3, 21 minutes into the show (after 2nd break).
        Are you on BS2 or BS3?

  7. We’re not planning on SS for any of our retirement, even though I’ve been paying into the system for 18 years now. If there is even a dollar a month, it will be a bonus. 

  8. Personally, I don’t plan on the solvency of Social Security when I reach ‘retirement’.  RANT: Retirement is an idea that has been marketed to Americans for 60 years.  I can’t find any passage in the Bible that says “Thou shall stop working at 65 years old and retire because, you deserve it.”  As an advisor, I am not going to help a fellow believer amass so much wealth that he/she ‘may’ become like the ‘other seed that fell among the thorns’ (see Matthew 13:23).
     
    Actuarial tables suggest that if you live to 65, your life expectancy is 84.  So, you work from 20-65 (45 years), so you can ‘not work’ and produce income for another 20 years?  It is interesting that the Baby Boomers (who have grown up with and expanded entitlements) will be the death of entitlements. 
     
    Maybe it’s time to rething this notion of ‘Retirement’.  Some of my clients emphatically state, “I want to retire when I’m 65 years old.”  I tell them retirement is all about income and you do not have enough of it to sustain your lifestyle for 20 more years.  Get back to work! RANT End.
     
    Here is my personal strategy (God willing).  I am 37 and in the accumulation phase of my financial life.  Around 50-55, I will create my own pension.  I will leverage some of the assets in savings to address long term care using insurance (retaining 100% liquidity).  The rest will remain in a conservative income portfolio and income generating assets.  After insuring a stable income stream, I will pursue whatever mission (WORK) God has given me for the second half of my life.
    1.Long Term Care is the biggest threat to your retirement accounts (www.longtermcare.gov has some good cost info).  Traditional LTCi (insurance) policies are being discontinued due to carriers losing billions on bad actuarial tables and huge rate increases on those paying from fixed income.  Look for hybrid life/LTCi contracts to fill the gap more efficiently in the future.
    2. Have a good CFP perform a cost appraisal and risk analysis on your 401k/Retirement accounts (You must know what the cost of ownership of your portfolios & have them back-test a 2008 crash 3-5 years prior to your ‘retirement’ date.  Remember, a 10% gain does NOT make up for a 10% loss).
    3. In 2012 the 401k and Mutual Funds were required to provide MORE disclosures regarding fees that have been previously hidden (Some of you will become nauseous when you see these fees).
    4. Mutual funds all have fees, sales charges, custodial fees, 12b-1 fees and transaction costs.  If the Mutual Fund states a performance of 9%, find out how much of that was eaten up by fees.  I personally hold mutual funds in my Roth 401k. I’m cool with it (for the moment).
     
    These are my personal thoughts.  I have learned more from working with those who are in the process of retiring or retired than I have from those who have never experienced retirement.  Chris’s audience is young.  So, much of this stuff may be useful to your parents 😉

  9. If a person takes their SS early for whatever reason and works, they have $1 for every $2 they earn over $14,180 taken out of their SS. Why not encourage older workers, no matter when they drew Social Security, to work as much as they want?

  10. I can answer that for you. some of the people that I know are diagnosed don’t have to wait for treatment they can apply long has it is really some serious things going on with you up there. If there isn’t then you will not get much.

  11. A lot of people are always worried about their social security number being found out. And I am getting a little freaked out because my HR department lost one of my papers with my SS# on it in a moving transition. So why exactly are people afraid of it being found out. I mean really

  12. How would you like to be getting ready to retire in 5-10 years and have the stock market crash like it has recently? To me it seems far fetched to put in jeopardy a life’s time of hard work and see it all wiped away.

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