Well, the media has been calling me and asking for comments. If you did not see the announcement, I’ll post the press release below.
The take-away is that the projected Social Security Trust fund is forecasted to be exhausted 3 years earlier than expected. Last year they said 2036 and now they say funds will run out by 2033 if no changes are implemented.
Here is a note I just sent a well known reporter, see below. Again, the bottom line is that changes is needed, but this should NOT impact you if you are older than 55 years of age.
“Well, I’m sure you have seen the results. I’m a bit worried the media will continue to use scare tactics. It is obvious to everyone that the system will need to change. The question is who will be impacted and how as an industry we should counsel impending retirees. I still contend if you are over 55, you are not likely to be impacted by change. This is consistent with most experts’ guidance. Three important elements should be evaluated: 1) any change has always taken a long time to implement (7 and 17 years off the last big adjustments), 2) there is a precedent that existing Americans who have already claimed will be grandfathered (not impacted by future change), and 3) the “sky is not falling.” As perspective on the new numbers — 100% funding until 2033 minus 2012 is 21 years of full funding. If we subtract this from the earliest some can file (62), it means based on today’s announcement someone 41 years old is fully covered. Note, this is a different message than the media sends. Here is my advice: a) plan that there will be change (discount your benefits off current assumptions if you are <55 yrs), and b) if you are over 55 run your numbers and evaluate SS strategies that can add up to $200,000 for for the typical couple. If a delay strategy is part of your plan, watch and see how things progress. It is likely we will have signs of any impending and material change which we can then adjust a strategy to. Again, this is the government. I suspect it will take some time for all the details to be worked out regarding future change.”