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Social Security - What Happens If Nothing Changes?

Why Reform Social Security:
Social Security - A Very Brief History
Social Security - What Happens If Nothing Changes?

The **** Hits The Fan In 2032

According to 1998 Trustees' Report the asset balances will increase at a rapid rate until about 2012 or 2020, depending on which estimate you want to use. Those assets will be used up between 2022 and 2032, again, depending on which estimates you choose to use. To see the complete text of the report you can download tr98.pdf (1,060 kb) or you can download a summary of that report, tr98sum.pdf (93 kb).

Why Is This Going To Happen?

There will be fewer workers to support the beneficiaries. From the 1998 Trustee's Report:

YEAR

RATIO OF WORKERS TO BENEFICIARIES
1945 41.9
1965 4.0
1975 3.2
1985 3.3
2000 3.3
2030 2.0
2070 1.8

The falling Ratio Of Workers To Beneficiaries results from a number of factors. One important factor is a birth rate that peaked around 1960 at over 3.5 to about under 2 after 2005. Another factor is Life Expectancies at Age 65. From the 1998 Trustee's Report:

YEAR MALE FEMALE
1935 11.9 13.2
1995 15.6 19.0
2040 17.5 20.8

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