Column: The youth of America will face problems with social security benefits


Mia Sinha, Opinions Editor

When I retire, I want to be able to kick back, relax and enjoy my time doing whatever I wish with my days. Of all things, I don’t want to have to worry about how I will be able to support myself at that age. Due to the United States’ current slow growing population rate, many people of my generation will be disadvantaged in their old age.

After World War II, one of the largest generations was born. The Baby Boomers. Now this generation is just hitting retirement age. When one retires, their social security pensions start coming in from years of being taxed while working. As the Baby Boomers retire, demography scientists are realizing something major will change in our governmental support system.

The way that the population of a country works is that the young who are too young to work, are taken care of by their parents, the working class, and the old or retired are supported by benefits paid for by taxing the working class.

The Social Security funds come from two trust funds, one for retiree benefits and the other for disability benefits. Social Security’s solvency, or ability for the funds to completely pay all promised benefits, will no longer be met and will begin to collect a deficit by 2034.

This does not mean that retirees and the disabled won’t get any benefits; however, the funds will only be able to support about 79% of the the people needing benefits. This doesn’t seem too bad. You can avoid money issues by trying to save up in your younger years, and many people avoid depending on social security checks by doing this.

Even if you save up money all of your life and never need a cent from the government, we all still pay social security taxes, and our generation will have to pay much more than the generations before us.

In order to not leave retired persons on their own, unable to support themselves without the depleted governmental safety net, the government may have to cut benefits for wealthy retirees, increase the retirement age to 70 and increase the amount you have to pay in taxes towards social security. This means that our generation, those under 25, will most likely be heavily paying to support the Baby Boomers and our parents’ generation. Even though we pay heavily in our youth and working days, our social security benefits will be extremely limited and may not even exist unless the US population goes from a slow growth to steady growth pattern.

As far as I can see, there is no perfect plan to make sure my generation will be secure in their old age, but I can say for sure that our President-Elect Donald Trump’s economic plan proposed will only further deplete these funds due to his persistence of cutting taxes. This issue may not be a main focus for many, especially the youth, however, it needs to be a focus for those younger than 25 because they will be the ones most affected.