"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." ~ Richard Feynman
My husband and I have been in the labor force for about ten years. We've earned those magical 40 quarters of Social security credit. Hence, we received statements in the mail from Social Security. The translation for the BS is one reason why my generation believes it is more likely to see aliens from space than a Social Security check for retirement.
The Social Security Statement will help you understand what Social Security means to you and your family. This Statement can help you better plan for your financial future. It gives you estimates of your Social Security benefits under current law. Each year, we will send you an updated Statement including your latest reported earnings.
Be sure to read this Statement carefully. If you think there may be a mistake, please let us know. That's important because your benefits will be based on our record of your lifetime earnings. We recommend you keep a copy of this Statement with your financial records.
Translation: We, the almighty and all-powerful government, might forget how much we owe you, so keep this record handy . . .
Social Security is for people of all ages... It can help you whether you're young or old, male or female, single or with a family. It's there for you when your retire, but it's more than a retirement program. Social Security also can provide benefits if you become disabled and help support your family when you die.
Translation: We owe everybody . . .
Work to build a secure future... Social Security is the largest source of income for most elderly Americans today. It is very important to remember that Social Security was never intended to be your only source of income when you retire. Social Security can't do it all. You will also need other savings, investments, pensions or retirement accounts to make sure you have enough money to live comfortably when you retire.
Translation: We owe old people lots of money, so plan to fund your own retirement . . .
About Social Security's future... Social Security is a compact between generations. For more than 60 years, America has kept the promise of security for its workers and their families. But now, the Social Security system is facing serious future financial problems, and action is needed soon to make sure that the system is sound when today's younger workers are ready for retirement.
Translation: The old folks have been getting their money for years, and will continue to get their money.
Today, there are almost 36 million Americans age 65 or older. Their Social Security retirement benefits are funded by today's workers and their employers who jointly pay Social Security taxes'just as the money they paid into Social Security was used to pay benefits to those who retired before them. Unless action is taken soon to strengthen Social Security, in just 15 years we will begin paying more in benefits than we collect in taxes. Without changes, by 2042 the Social Security Trust Fund will be exhausted.*By then, the number of Americans 65 or older is expected to have doubled. There won't be enough younger people working to pay all of the benefits owed to those who are retiring. At that point, there will be enough money to pay only about 73 cents for each dollar of scheduled benefits. We will need to resolve these issues soon to make sure Social Security continues to provide a foundation of protection for future generations as it has done in the past.
Translation: We're about to run out of money and workers to pay for it all.
Social Security On the Net... Visit www.socialsecurity.gov on the Internet to learn more about Social Security. You can read our publications, use the Social Security Benefit Calculators to calculate future benefits, apply for retirement, spouse's or disability benefits, or subscribe to eNews for up-to date information about Social Security.
Translation: If you want to find out how much money you'll never see or see if you can get in while we still have money, go to these websites . . .
No wonder my generation thinks we'll see aliens before we see Social Security checks. Social Security statements are a velvet-gloved method of delivering the truth the politicians can't stomach to say out loud. Politicians might actually come out and say to our faces what will happen before all the checks bounce. Of course, by then, we might be genetically engineering aliens to work and pay the taxes so that we can retire.