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What’s The Realistic Solution to Social Security’s Growing Cash Shortfall?


For many retired Americans, Social Security income is essential. Surveys spanning over two decades reveal that 80% to 90% of current retirees rely on these benefits for expenses. Additionally, 76% to 88% of non-retirees anticipate depending on Social Security in retirement.

Lawmakers must prioritize securing America’s vital retirement program as reports show its financial health deteriorating. The current long-term funding shortfall exceeds $22 trillion, demanding immediate attention from policymakers.

Current and future retired-worker beneficiaries are looking to elected officials to address Social Security’s shortcomings — and that begins in the White House.

Every year since the first retired-worker benefit was mailed out in 1940, the Social Security Board of Trustees has released a report that examines the financial health of this top retirement program. In addition to detailing how revenue is collected and where each Social Security dollar ends up, this annual report factors in changes to fiscal and monetary policy, along with demographics shifts, to estimate the financial outlook for Social Security 10 years (the short term) and 75 years (the long term) following the release of a report.

Every Trustees Report since 1985 has cautioned that Social Security is facing a long-term funding shortfall. To be clear, this doesn’t mean the program is facing bankruptcy or insolvency. Rather, it means the existing payout schedule, including annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), can’t be sustained if things continue on their current trajectory.

As of the 2023 Trustees Report, Social Security was facing an estimated $22.4 trillion long-term funding deficiency. Worse yet, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund (OASI), which is responsible for doling out monthly benefits to over 50 million retired workers and approximately 5.8 million survivor beneficiaries, is on track to exhaust its asset reserves by 2033. If the OASI’s asset reserves are depleted, sweeping benefit cuts of up to 23% may be necessary to avoid any further need for reductions through 2097.

The bulk of Social Security’s shortcomings can be traced to sustained demographic shifts. Some of these you know, such as the ongoing retirement of baby boomers and increased longevity since retired-worker payouts began in 1940. However, some of the demographic changes that are adversely impacting Social Security may not be as visible.

If you’re like most Americans, you’re a few years (or more) behind on your retirement savings. But a handful of little-known “Social Security secrets” could help ensure a boost in your retirement income. Once you learn how to maximize your Social Security benefits, we think you could retire confidently with the peace of mind we’re all after.

If you haven’t done so already, set up your Social Security account at so you can see all potential benefits.

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