Social inSecurity

Even though this topic applies to an older audience, this will be heavily debated subject in the next two decades. As a young man I know that this social program will probably be depleted by the time I retire, but most people my age that do not save for their retirement still believe the government will support them in the years they can no longer work.

According to USA Today, “Last year, that rate sank to -0.5%. Households spent $41.6 billion more than they earned. The rate’s last dip into negative territory was in 1933, when banks were closed and breadlines were long. In January, the savings rate fell further, to -0.7%.” This seems like a scary statement, but it draws a vivid picture of our future. How is the younger generation supposed to save when our parents spend more than what they make?

Another scary statistic is that the percentage of households putting money into their savings fell to 56.1% in 2004, down from 59.2% in 2001. It gives me shivers down my spine thinking about what long-term effects this will have on America. Unless this cycle is broken, and our generation starts to save, our country will be in financial ruin.

This program was created to help the retirees have financial benefits post retirement. The big problem is that the government did not predict some huge factors contributing to the downfall of the plan such as: women in the workplace lowering the birth rate (the biggest factor), men and woman living past the age of 60, inflation, and the rapid development of foreign countries. President Bush tried to put together a plan to reform Social Security that would update the program, but of course was shot down. This program MUST be reformed so that our generation of non-savers will still have a forced savings plan.

Even though I personally think the government should not have a huge role in our retirement, many people do. I also think that when you look at the program itself it looks like an illegal Pyramid Scheme. That is just my opinion. Read what the SEC describes as a pyramid scheme and then you cannot tell me there aren’t any similarities between both programs. In conclusion, I think that we need to save for ourselves and hope others will catch on before they have to retire. Finish rich by early saving and let the wonder of compound interest take its course.

I will address how to save for retirement correctly in a future financial post.