Why I am Not Banking on a Social Security Check When I Retire

Anyone else banking or not banking on Social Security for retirement?

Obviously the verdict is still out on the long-term sustainability of Social Security. But here are the known facts:

  • “Older” Millennials will start to retire in 30 years (Year 2047).

  • “Younger” Millennials will start to retire in 46 years (Year 2063).

  • Millennials are expected to surpass Baby Boomers in numbers.

  • Currently, 61% of retirees receiving Social Security rely on those benefits to account for at least half of their monthly income.

  • Social security is forecast to burn through its more than $2.8 trillion cash surplus by the year 2034.

  • Without a major overhaul by lawmakers, SS benefits would need to cut of up to 21% in order to remain solvent through 2090 (many younger Millennials might still be alive in their 80s and 90s in 2090).

  • So, without intervention, Millennials are looking at receiving 3/4th the benefits that retirees receiving SS benefits get today.

  • The average monthly Social Security payment is around $1,360 in 2017.

  • That means (without adding in inflation), the average reduced payment starting in 2034 may be around $1,020.


That is not much money to count on. This is why its important that Millennials start planning and saving for retirement as early as possible. The earlier the better.

In addition, at this point the earliest you can claim SS benefits is 62, but if you wait until 70 to claim, you will on average see 38% more money per check.

However, I have no plans to wait until 62 to retire, let alone 70 (or whatever the future retirement age is in the future). I plan to retire early… a lot earlier than that. In order to do that, I need to start saving more money myself and not count on possible income sources. Millennials will probably get Social Security benefits, but how much remains to be seen.

That being said, I hope lawmakers make it a priority to “fix” Social Security in the near future for the people who need it now and the people who will need it in the future.

So, how do I plan to retire early? I encourage you to look into and research the Trinity Study and the 4% rule. I highly recommend reading this great blog post by Go Curry Cracker (who is already retired in his 30s) about retirement numbers and the 4% rule, or Mr. Money Mustache’s post on the same topic.

It is possible to retire early (before the age of 62) and become financially independent, and therefore, not have to worry if Social Security will be around when we all retire. It just takes some extra planning, thoughtful spending, and smart saving and investing.

Your Turn: How are you planning and saving for retirement? What are your goals for retirement?