Social Security’s Uncertain Future: What You Should Know

man and woman looking at social secuity paperwork

Social Security is a pay-as-you go system, which means today’s workers are paying taxes for the benefits received by today’s retirees. However, demographic trends such as lower birth rates, higher retirement rates, and longer life spans are causing long-run fiscal challenges. There are simply not enough U.S. workers to support the growing number of beneficiaries. Social Security is not in danger of collapsing, but the clock is ticking on the program’s ability to pay full benefits.

Social Security Retirement Benefit Basics

Social Security benefits are a major source of retirement income for most people. Your Social Security retirement benefit is based on
the number of years you’ve been working and the amount you’ve earned. When you begin taking Social Security benefits also greatly affects the size of your benefit.