LOS ANGELES — In today’s financial landscape, sole dependence on Social Security funding your retirement will put the average retiree into the poor house. Saving for retirement is no longer just the smart thing to do, it’s absolutely necessary. In PragerU’s newest video, Social Security Won’t Give You Security, financial expert and author Chris Hogan explains why treating Social Security as one’s sole financial support is the height of foolishness.
As Hogan explains, Social Security is unreliable for two reasons:
First, Social Security is going broke. Created in 1935, Social Security was designed as a safety net for retirees 65 and older, at a time when the average life expectancy was 60 years old. Most Americans either never reached the eligible age or did not need support for a long. With advances in modern medicine, hygiene and nutrition, the average life expectancy has risen to 79 and climbing, resulting in many people living long enough to draw benefits for as many as 20-30 years.
Further compounding an already difficult situation, in 1935, the ratio of workers to retirees was 159-to-1. The ratio has since shrunk to an astounding 2.8-to-1. What was meant to be 159 workers supporting every retired person, has become fewer than three workers supporting every retiree.
“You don’t need an advanced math degree to figure this one out: Social Security is spending more than it’s bringing in,” says Hogan. “Its own board of trustees has said that it will be bankrupt within 20 years.”
The government’s solution to the Social Security dilemma will involve Americans either receiving less money than promised or giving more money in taxes. Hogan believes it will be a combination of both. “Sounds about right for an entitlement program, doesn’t it?” says Hogan. “Starts out small. But just keeps growing and growing until it collapses under its own weight.”
Second, even if retirees get their guaranteed funding, there’s is still a major problem if that’s all they are relying on. Unfortunately, many Americans are making this very mistake. In 2017, the average monthly Social Security check was just over $1,400, or $17,000 per year, which is just above the poverty line for a two person household. Recent studies show 53 percent of unretired baby boomers have no retirement savings and plan on Social Security as their retirement income.
Hogan gives three solutions to prevent financial disaster during retirement:
1. Get on a budget. Quoting leadership expert John Maxwell, Hogan advised, “A budget is simply telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” It is important to approach money with a plan, so give every dollar an assignment at the beginning of each month.
2. Attack and avoid debt like the plague. Most Americans spend 25 percent of their annual income paying off debt. For a permanent solution, Hogan recommends the “snowball method,” as taught in Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. Put every extra dollar toward to smallest debt and make minimum payments toward the rest. Once that debt is paid, shift to paying off the next smallest, until every debt is gone.
3. Put Social Security in perspective. Consider whatever Social Security payments you may receive as “icing on the cake” rather than the actual cake. Getting Social Security checks is not wrong, after all each beneficiary has paid into the system, but let that money be a “fringe benefit” to the savings already in the bank.
“There is nothing ‘secure’ about Social Security,” concludes Hogan. “The last thing you want to do is rely on it.”
MEDIA NOTE: Please email MediaInquiries@TheKCompany.co to schedule an interview with PragerU contributor Chris Hogan, Founder Dennis Prager or CEO Marissa Streit.
PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2017 alone, PragerU’s videos have received over 625 million views and over 60 percent of the viewers are under the age of 35. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.