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Are Social Security Benefits Guaranteed?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Yes, Social Security benefits are guaranteed by the United States Government. They are also secured as a lifetime benefit and can often be a joint lifetime benefit. Social Security benefits are also inflation protected. All three of those protections of your Social Security benefits are exactly why you should maximize the benefits you receive from Social Security.

Benefits are guaranteed. They are backed by the United States Government. The Social Security Administration took the surplus of benefits received after paying benefits and purchased U.S. Treasury Bonds. This is required by federal law. As long as the Government backs their bonds, the Social Security Administration will have money to pay monthly benefits. They have enough bonds to last until about 2033. If the President and Congress don’t take action to make the retirement program solvent, in 2033 everyone will receive 25% pay cut. I am confident they will take the actions necessary to make Social Security solvent just as they did in the early 1980’s.

Benefits are a lifetime benefit. Once you begin to receive benefits you will receive a check each month as long as you live. If your Spouse will be entitled to survivors benefits if they out live you, they will receive those benefits as long as they live. At no point will those benefits run out.

Benefits are inflation protected. Each year, the consumer price index (CPI) is compared to the previous year. If the 3rd quarter CPI from this year has increased from the 3rd quarter of last year, Social Security beneficiaries will receive a raise in benefits. This is already a law and you do not have to depend on Congress or the President making the decision about a cost of living raise.

Remember; when you, and your spouse if you are married, are gone, Social Security benefits not taken remain in the trust fund. They cannot be left to your heir’s. So why not maximize your Social Security so you can use your other savings less. This will help them last longer and perhaps be left to your children any one else you choose.

As a good friend always says, “Is today the day I will regret my retirement? Nope, it isn’t today.” Retirement is great but just like all our important decisions, we must make a plan. Make sure you make your plan.



 
 
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