Chances are, you’re being ripped off. Big time. If you’re one of the 125 million Americans who are a part of Generation X or Y, you need to keep reading… that is if you want to have ANY money left over for retirement. For many Americans in their 30s and 40s, retirement might not be the first thing on their minds. But that’s because they think they’re taken care of. They think that Social Security will be there to support them once they’ve stopped working. The only problem with that plan? It won’t work. Hopefully all Gen X and Gen Y Americans have (growing) 401Ks or IRAs that will help provide for them later in life, but if they do not, or if they’re hoping to have any significant support offered by the federal government in the form of Social Security checks, they’d better think again…
This is not how it was supposed to work. The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. It was supposed to create a system to provide “old-age benefits” for taxpaying workers and their families, and then later on the law was amended to include disability benefits. The basic idea was that, you (the taxpayer) would pay into the Social Security fund via your taxes for your entire working life. Around age 65 you could begin to receive social security benefits which include a monthly allowance and discounted medical coverage.
You should be worried. That plan from the 1930s sounds pretty excellent. And for some of the Baby Boomer generation, it worked for a while. It should still be working. But unfortunately (as you might have expected) the politicians in Washington did not keep their promises. And so who suffers? You do. If you’re in your 30s or 40s, you need to pay close attention. Washington has been taking your money since you started working. And that would be fine if the benefits that had been promised to you were going to be waiting for you once you retired, but that’s not the case. When the program started, it was said that “…you and your employer will each pay 3 cents on each dollar you earn, up to $3,000 a year. That is the most you will ever pay.” Adjusting for inflation, as of 2013, the maximum per person amount was eight times what was originally promised. That’s robbery. They’re “stealing” from you at a rate never before seen, but there still won’t be any left for you by the time you need it. Baby Boomers who entered the workforce in the 1960s paid only 6.5% of their earning to social security, now Generation X workers are contributing 12.4%. It’s been called the “Boomers Bargain.” They paid less of their earnings, but are getting more benefits. For members of Gen X & Y, the opposite will be true. You are paying more than anyone in the history of the program and will see your benefits dwindle right before your eyes… that’s if there are any benefits at all. Experts estimate that the the Social Security Trust Fund will go bankrupt by 2037.
Don’t go it alone. First of all, the very agency that was set up to help answer your questions, calm your concerns, and aid you on your journey toward retirement is collapsing as you read this. Each and every day of the year, about 180,000 people stop by local Social Security offices throughout the country. But that number is tiny when compared to the over 440,000 people that call the agency per day, just to file claims or update their information. You would think being in such high demand would mean the agency is presented with a growing budget, but instead the budget is reportedly shrinking: the agency’s budget in 2013 was $11 billion, almost $1 billion less than three years earlier, and about 10,000 Social Security employees have been lost since 2011. The Social Security Administration is attempting to increase the number of services offered online and recently launched a new mobile website, but these steps sound like much too little much too late as demand increases and the agency’s capacity becomes more limited. So if the agency itself can’t help you understand and correct these problems, what can you do? Well, just by reading this, you’re taking a step in the right direction. In this case, knowledge is literally power, because if you know that your future is at risk then you can begin doing something about it.
The NSCC is a group with a unique and singular goal: to restore fairness to the Social Security game. We just want to be playing by the same rules that were established when the program launched. And to ensure that we are all doing just that, we want to get you directly involved in the process. We want to empower the nation’s Gen X and Y citizens by creating an organized public education and advocacy program to raise the kind of awareness and begin to take the kind of action that makes politicians stand up and take notice. You need to be a part of this movement, and we’d love to have you on board. We can change this. We can fix this. This problem is not about which side of the aisle you find yourself on. This is a problem for anyone who is a part of Gen X (or Gen Y.) And the only way to enact change is to let your voice be heard. Right now, retirees aren’t going to speak up because they don’t want to see their benefits cut. And politicians are doing too little too slowly. That’s where you come in. An organized public education and advocacy program, with Representatives in each state, is exactly what we need to begin to make targeted moves in the right direction by reaching out and putting pressure on politicians to re-instate a fair and balanced approach to social security.