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Did Social Security Make a Big Mistake?

It is possible the government has "grossly underestimated" its needs "to the tune of $800 billion by 2031," according to analysts.

MSN Money reports that academic analysts say we may be running out of money. The United States Social Security Administration (SSA) has been using "outdated calculations and severely overestimated the money available for retirees," says the report.

The analysis was conducted by Samir Soneji, a demographer and professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, and Gary King, a professor of government at Harvard, according to the MSN report.

The two say the government has "grossly underestimated the money it needs for retiring Americans to the tune of $800 billion by 2031, more than the current annual defense budget."

They say that something must change immediately to save the system.

"And if nothing is done," they said to MSN Money, "the Social Security trust fund will run out two years ahead of current government predictions."

Some items not considered by SSA, according to King and Soneji, include the added longevity to one's life. The two say Americans "are adding years of life that the government hasn’t accounted for."

The duo suggests that major changes may be necessary to alter this problem. Ideas such as "raising the retirement age to as high as 69 or 70, increasing payroll taxes, limiting annual cost-of-living adjustments and reducing benefits" are among those they offer up.

No matter what, the analysts suggest change immediately.

"The longer we ignore the problem," they warn in MSN Money, "the more disruptive any change will need to be to keep Social Security alive."

marie smart January 09, 2013 at 12:08 PM
They've been saying this for years. It's nothing new. I know all the money I have dumped into SS will not be there for me when I retire. They are too busy giving it away to people sitting home watching Maury to fix the problem. I'm sure Obama will fix it though (note the dripping sarcasm).
bruce west January 09, 2013 at 01:14 PM
We know what to do but our politicians cannot do their job. Require those on welfare to get back to work. Rein in free federal housing. Reduce the bloated and ever-increasing military budget. Remove soldiers from Europe. Reduce foreign aid. Copy England's health care one payer system that pays doctors and hospitals less. Eliminate benefits for for federal, state and local emoyees and just pay salary; which is the same reality for every small business person. If we accomplish that we fix SS.
Irene Lennon January 09, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Is the 800 Billion the amount that Obama took to finance Obamacare?
Tony Simek January 09, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Bruce - you forgot to add that all politicians including the president, should be covered by the same healthcare and retirement benefits that everyone else is subject to.
DJ January 09, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Incorrect calculations, inefficiencies, and wasteful spending. This isn't the government that I know you guys must be confused.

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