Myths Regarding Baby Boomers and Social Security

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Baby boomers, individuals born between 1946 and 1964, are now entering the age of retirement. By 2020, 1 in 5 people in the US will be over the age of 65, much of this due to the baby boomers reaching retirement age. The biggest fear of baby boomers entering retirement is due to the effects on social security. It is expected that social security might go bankrupt when all of these seniors need social security around the same time; but is it just a myth? Here are the most common myths regarding baby boomers and social security.

Social Security and Bankruptcy

The way the system is set up, bankruptcy isn’t something social security and baby boomers will need to experience. It is a major concern, and one of the biggest myths surrounding social security and baby boomers. Social security is not headed for bankruptcy, even though there are going to be some financial challenges in the future.

Life Expectancy Affecting Social Security

Baby boomers have a higher life expectancy than all previous generations of seniors, which means baby boomers will need to receive social security for longer periods of time. There is a myth surrounding life expectancy being the cause of social security decline and deficits. While it is partly true, this like other factors, isn’t solely responsible for social security and benefit changes. Overall, life expectancies have risen slightly, but when you compare life expectancies of individuals over 65 in the last 20 years, it has only gone up by 2 years. This is not significant enough to cause such a huge deficit in benefits.

Social Security Will Not be Available

There has been talk and worry that due to the upcoming deficit, social security benefits will disappear completely. Like the myth bout bankruptcy, this is entirely untrue. It is possible that due to the higher amount of baby boomers needing social security, amounts will be cut, but so far the amount cut isn’t determined and there has been no decisions made regarding it being gone altogether. This concern has reached government officials and there are discussions daily on how to combat this posing issue.

Only Available After Retirement

A common myth is that the only people who can get social security are retirees, but there are others adding to the deficit in public funding. People who are deemed disabled, widowed, orphaned and other special circumstances may also qualify for social security. Even if the deficit occurs and affects how much baby boomers and other seniors can receive, it isn’t all due to the baby boomers reaching retirement age.

Keep in mind that while many of the social security myths aren’t true or at least fabricated a great deal, it doesn’t mean you can count on social security as your sole income. It will be cut significantly, though not gone completely, and as a baby boomer you still have some time to prepare for retirement.