On November 3, 2021

Rumors about Social Security

By Kevin Theissen

You’ve probably heard the rumors about Social Security:

“If you keep working you can’t collect benefits,” “The program is going broke,” and the old standby, “You’ll never get back what you put into it!”

If any of these rumors were true, it would be terrible for millions of Americans. However, if it sounds too bad to be true, it’s probably hype.

Let’s take a deep breath and look at these three myths one at a time.

First off, there’s the idea that if you work while collecting Social Security, you’ll lose your benefits. That’s simply not true. If you take benefits before full retirement age and choose to work during that time, you will still receive benefits, but they will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you earned. So, not only could you earn more but also gain satisfaction by working.

Second, the rumor that Social Security is going broke. No, not exactly. As long as payroll taxes are collected, the program can’t run out of funding. While it’s technically possible the benefits owed may start to outstrip payroll taxes collected, the soonest that could happen would be 2034. And, if that were to happen, the most extreme predictions show a 22% reduction to benefits and not anywhere near broke.

Finally, there’s the idea that you won’t get back what you put in. Here’s the thing, that’s not how it’s supposed to work. The amount of money recipients receive is based on when they start drawing benefits and how long they live after that. So while you may not receive all the money you put in, you could also end up receiving quite a bit more, depending on your situation. Remember when it comes to including Social Security in your retirement strategy, make sure you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Kevin Theissen is the owner of HWC Financial in Ludlow.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Native cherry trees: spring beauty, ecological gold

May 15, 2024
Each spring, cities from New York to Texas celebrate the spectacular blooming of ornamental cherry trees. In many cultures, the lovely, delicate pink and white cherry blossoms symbolize rebirth and renewal, as well as the fleeting nature of life. Beyond these showy cultivated trees, our region boasts three native cherry species, which are important in…

Remembering downtown pharmacists from yesteryear

May 15, 2024
When I saw the obituary for Lucian Wiskoski back in March I realized that he was the last of Rutland’s downtown pharmacists whom I had the pleasure of knowing from childhood into adulthood. Back in the ‘50s five pharmacies were located in downtown Rutland. They were: Shangraw’s, Carpenter’s, Carroll Cut Rate, McClallen’s, and Beauchamp &…

Absorbed and absorbing the moguls of Superstar

May 15, 2024
I couldn’t find my center of balance for the life of me. A few days off from skiing and I felt like a fish flopping about on dry land. I would get stuck in the rut and get launched upwards and then I could feel my weight slamming into the back of my boots. The…

It was 30 years ago today

May 15, 2024
I never dreamed of being a writer, I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. It was an early morning in 1994, and I was standing in the composition department of the Mountain Times, having been hired the prior year as a part-time graphic artist. Computers were just coming onto…