The majority of Americans today are relying upon social security for their retirement. But even though social security can be a boon, it’s not a good plan for long-term benefits. Social security isn’t intended to be a primary method of retirement, and there are a few major reasons why you shouldn’t count on it. Learn five of them.
1. Your Social Security Benefits Aren’t Guaranteed
Much has been said about the possibility of social security benefits being discontinued. While this is unlikely, social security benefits could possibly be slashed in the future. When you pay into social security today, you aren’t paying into an account intended for yourself. Instead, you’re paying for the people who are on social security right now.
Whether you get social security later on depends on how many people are paying into social security when you retire. With a diminishing population, social security may not be able to fund itself. Benefits can be removed at any time. A retirement account, on the other hand, will always be yours.
2. Often, Your Retirement Expenses Are in Bulk
Social security will send you a small, monthly payment. Unfortunately, most expenses for retirement are in bulk. You may need to purchase a smaller home, pay in to a retirement home, or pay substantial medical bills.
If you have a retirement account, you can simply pull this money out of your account and then pay these bills off. You’re completely in charge of your money (though there may be some penalties for taking money out early).
If you are relying on social security, you have no recourse; you will likely be living from social security check to social security check, and likely won’t be able to save up the money to pay for these big ticket items.
3. You Need to Wait on Social Security
Social security is meant to be started at age 66. While you can retire early at 62, you will only receive 75 percent of your projected benefits. If you’re relying upon social security, you will need to work until you are 62; if you have a retirement plan, you may be able to retire early.
Many people today are trying to save money faster and then drastically reduce their lifestyle, so they can live without working earlier in their lives. If you can save enough money early on, you can live off of the benefits of your investments.
4. Social Security Doesn’t Increase With Your Lifestyle
Social security is calculated based on the amount of time that you’ve worked as well as the wages you’ve earned and is capped at a certain amount. Many people reach this cap within ten to fifteen years of working.
This means that whether you’re accustomed to making $40,000 a year or $200,000 a year, your social security benefits are going to remain largely the same. Comparatively, a retirement account can be adjusted by you depending on your income.
5. An Investment Account Gains Significantly More
Since social security is a government program, they can’t engage in risky investments. Social security is meant to earn just enough to keep pace with inflation. Meanwhile, a good investment account can earn anywhere from 6 to 10 percent a year. If you invest in a retirement account, you can retire with far more money, just through the benefits of interest.
None of that is to say that social security shouldn’t be a part of your retirement plan. Social security is still an excellent supplement, but it was never meant to be a major retirement fund: it’s intended as a safety net. If you haven’t planned your retirement past social security, it’s time to act now. To get started, contact Tax Deferred Benefits, LLC.