When retirement feels like a pipe dream

Raleigh Lawrence
2 min readJan 13


The Social Security system in the United States has been a source of concern for many Americans, particularly those nearing retirement age. With the current state of the economy and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not hard to understand why some people like myself, might be worried that there won’t be any Social Security left by the time they’re ready to retire.

Photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/es/@jameshosejr?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">James Hose Jr</a> on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/photos/6D58t6uZT5M?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>

The Social Security program is a government-funded retirement and disability insurance program that is designed to provide financial assistance to those who are no longer able to work. It is funded by payroll taxes that are taken out of every worker’s paycheck. However, the program is facing a number of challenges that could potentially threaten its long-term stability.

One of the biggest concerns is the aging population. As more and more baby boomers reach retirement age, the number of people receiving Social Security benefits is increasing. At the same time, the number of working people who are paying into the system is decreasing. This means that there will be fewer people contributing to the program, while more people are drawing benefits from it. Another concern is the rise in life expectancy. As people are living longer, they are drawing benefits for a longer period of time. This puts additional strain on the program, as it means that more money is going out than coming in.

This map from the team at madisontrust.com shows the average age of retirement in each US state along with the amount of money you need per year to live comfortably. If you are planning to just live off of Social Security checks, you may be in for a shock. The Social Security Trustees have projected that the program will be able to pay full benefits until 2035, after that, the program will only have enough money to pay about three-fourths of the benefits.

There have been several proposals to address these challenges and ensure the long-term stability of the program. These include raising the retirement age, increasing the payroll tax, and reducing benefits. It is also important to consider other sources of retirement income, such as personal savings and investments.