How Social Security will look in 2035: when it runs out!

As the future of Social Security is still up in the air, questions such as “Will Social Security run out?” are being asked. Income from Social Security is expected to exceed expenses this year, according to the 2020 annual report from the board of trustees of federal old-age and survivors insurance trust fund and federal disability insurance trust fund. After that, annual taxes are expected to cover only about three-quarters of the benefits each year until the reserves are depleted.

A  Look At The Problems Facing Social Security

Longer life expectancy, a smaller working-age population, and an increase in the number of retirees are all contributing to the problem. More than 78 million Americans 65 and older are expected to be in the United States by the year 2035, up from about 56 million now. Since more people will be withdrawing money from Social Security, but fewer people will be contributing to it, there will be less money in the system overall.

Even so, the program’s funds are not in jeopardy of exhaustion. Payroll taxes are expected to cover approximately 76% of the benefits scheduled. Retirees may receive lower Social Security payments or workers may have to contribute more to the system if the 21 percent funding gap is not filled. If nothing is done, this is what experts predict the future of Social Security will look like.

Worst-case scenarios: Benefits may be reduced

If you plan to rely on Social Security benefits in 2035, keep in mind that you may receive less than you expected. According to the 2020 annual report from the trust funds’ board of trustees, benefits will have to be reduced by 23% if no changes are made to address the trust fund shortfall.

That kind of reduction in benefits would have a significant financial impact on many retirees. According to the Social Security Administration, 50 percent of married couples and 70 percent of single people rely on Social Security for at least half of their income.

Are benefits likely to be cut


Some experts doubt that Social Security benefits will be drastically cut in the near future.
Joseph E. Roseman Jr., a Social Security expert and retirement planner at Retirement Capital Planners, says the consequences of such an event would be “beyond traumatising” for everyone in the country. “You’re dealing with a national catastrophe.

In order to avoid such drastic benefits cuts, he believes Congress will step in before 2035. That’s what Mary Beth Franklin of Investment News, a Social Security expert and contributing editor, tells me.

Because of the decline in pensions, more people are turning to Social Security for support, she explained. A shortfall in the trust fund means that politicians will likely have to find other ways to deal with the problem, given the program’s popularity.

How to balance the budget of Social Security

Even though Social Security isn’t expected to run out of money for another 15 years, a number of options have already been proposed to deal with the deficit. Included in these choices are:

Increasing the tax rate on wages

Reducing the amount of income that must be taxed by Social Security

Full retirement age should be increased.

lowering the annual increases in the standard of living

Reducing the value of benefits

ALSO READ: The Best Age to Claim Social Security Benefits!

Tax rates on Social Security payrolls may increase

The program’s tax revenue will have to rise if benefits aren’t cut. The payroll tax rate can be increased as a means of accomplishing this goal. Workers contribute 6.2 percent of their wages to Social Security, while employers contribute another 6.2 percent (self-employed people have to pay the full 12.4 percent ).

What Would Happen


Based on a 2020 annual report from the board of trustees, a payroll tax increase of 3.14 percentage points is needed to sustain the programme if the trust fund reserves are depleted. 4.13 percent would be needed if nothing is done until 2035.

The payroll tax is not expected to be raised by Congress, according to Roseman, in order to boost trust fund reserves. According to him, “there’s probably the least appetite” for that. In other words, “it’s an increase in taxes.”

With this change, what would Social Security look like in 2035

A rise in the rate of the payroll tax can take various forms. Taxes on wages are currently split evenly between the employee and his or her employer. To hide the 3.14 percent tax increase from taxpayers, the tax increase could be split evenly between employers and employees.

Legislation proposed by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) calls for an equal split in the Social Security 2100 Act. Employers and employees would pay 7.4 percent more in Social Security taxes as a result of this proposal. There’s some support for the bill, but so far it’s stalled in the House of Representatives.

Wages could be taxed more

Raising the amount of income subject to tax is another way to boost tax revenue for Social Security. Social Security taxes apply only to wages up to the Social Security contribution and benefit base.

This is what might happen

Franklin said that in order to keep the trust fund solvent, the taxable wage limit would have to be raised even higher, or it would have to be lifted entirely. Those earning more than $137,700 currently do not have to pay Social Security taxes because of this change.

In 2035, what would Social Security look like if this change had been implemented


If the current contribution and benefit base is increased, only those who earn more than that will be affected. If you earn $80,000 a year, for example, you pay Social Security taxes on your entire income, so it makes no difference if the cap is raised to $130,000, $300,000, or removed altogether.

You only pay Social Security taxes on the first $137,700 of your W-2 wages in 2020, for a total of $8.537.40. You would owe $15,500 in Social Security taxes on your $250,000 income if the cap were raised to $300,000.

ALSO READ:10 Reasons to Claim Social Security Benefits Earlier

A higher full retirement age may be on the horizon

Roseman predicted that Congress would raise the full retirement age for Social Security benefits because tax increases are unpopular. Because of this, future generations will have to work for a longer period of time before they can begin receiving government assistance.

If you were born in 1937 or earlier, your full retirement age is 65; if you were born in 1960 or later, your full retirement age is 67.

What Would Happen

In order to keep more money in the trust funds, Roseman and Franklin both stated that there are proposals to gradually raise the full retirement age to 69 years old. In addition, retirees may no longer be able to use a popular strategy to maximise their Social Security benefits. By delaying retirement benefits past your full retirement age, you will receive a higher benefit each year until you reach age 70, Roseman said.

In 2035, what would Social Security look like if this change had been implemented

It may make sense to raise the retirement age as life expectancy rises because people have more time to work. Raising the retirement age, on the other hand, reduces benefits by delaying the payment of anticipated benefits. In addition, the overall increases in longevity have not applied to many low-income workers, who have shorter life expectancies than wealthy people. An increase in the retirement age would disproportionately affect the poor.

The COLA for Social Security may be lowered

In order to keep up with inflation, retirees receiving Social Security benefits typically see a small increase each year. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used to calculate these cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs). There was no cost-of-living adjustment in 2015, but the last few years have seen increases of 0.3%, 2%, 2.8%, 2.8%, and 1.6%. In 2020, the rate will rise to 1.6%, the lowest since 2009.

What Would Happen

Changes in cost-of-living adjustments may be necessary to keep Social Security’s trust funds solvent, said Roseman. For people born before 1960, the formula is likely to remain the same. He did say, however, that the COLA for those born after 1960 might be lower.

Benefit payments will fall behind inflation if this occurs. In order to make ends meet, people who rely on Social Security may have to cut back on their spending.

If this change is implemented, what will Social Security look like in 2035

Inflation adjustments to Social Security benefits can be small or nonexistent, as recent years have demonstrated. People on fixed incomes may find it difficult to keep up with rising housing and rent costs if cost-of-living adjustments are too low. Health care costs, which rise faster than inflation for seniors as well, are also higher.

Benefits Could Be Reduced

An annual report from the board of trustees for 2020 suggests that a 19 percent cut to current and future Social Security recipients’ benefits, or a 23 percent cut, could be used to close the funding gap in the coming year. However, if nothing is done by 2035, all benefits will be reduced by 25%.

What Would Happen


As a result of the Social Security Trust Fund running out in 2035, various benefits may be slashed in various ways. There is nothing more simple than making an equal cut on each side of the board. Other options include varying the amount of benefit reductions depending on income level. Some of the wealthiest Americans may see their Social Security benefits slashed, while lower-income recipients may not see a change.

Even Social Security could become a means-tested benefit, based in part on the income or other assets of the recipient. There is currently no limit on Social Security benefits for those who have paid into the system.

If this change is implemented, what will Social Security look like in 2035

The average monthly retirement benefit will be $1,503 in 2020. The average monthly benefit would drop by $301 if benefits were slashed by 20% across the board, or $3,612 per year. It would cost $4,152 less a year if benefits were reduced by 23 percent.

Is It Simple To Fix This Issue

Roseman believes that the Social Security shortfall can be easily fixed, but that getting Congress to enact the necessary changes is a much more difficult task. He asserted that “nobody wants to compromise.”

Social Security is not expected to run out of money, however, according to Roseman. For the most part, he advises his clients to use it as a back-up plan in case their primary source of retirement income should be lost. In his words, “I would never advise anyone to live solely on Social Security.”

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