For Mark Roberts’ Use: As you plan for retirement, you might view Social Security as the foundation of your long-term stability. Over the years, you have made contributions to this system through paycheck deductions, and you expect your benefits to be there when you need them.

But, as you have probably heard, the Social Security system is experiencing increasing strain. Due to better health care and longer life spans, an increasing number of senior citizens will be drawing benefits for a longer period of time. Baby Boomers are now retiring, and many expect to spend twenty or thirty years in retirement.

Due to generational demographics, the system is expected to see further strain as Baby Boomers continue to retire. In 1950, each person receiving Social Security was supported by 16.5 active workers. In 2015, this number had dropped to 2.8 workers for each Social Security pensioner. And by 2035, there will be only 2.1 workers paying taxes to support each person on Social Security.

Social Security payments are typically adjusted for inflation, but your own income and expenses might rise at a faster pace. Policymakers are also considering various changes to the system, including an increased minimum age to receive benefits.

In the past, full benefits were available at age 65. But now, full retirement age has been changed according to year of birth, and many people will be waiting until age 66 or 67 to receive their full benefits. And with increasing strain on the system, we might see further adverse consequences in the future.

As you calculate the income that you will need in retirement, keep these trends in mind. Your Social Security benefits might play a more limited role in your eventual income plan, meaning more of the responsibility for creating retirement income will fall on your shoulders. If you’re worried about your Social Security benefits, or you know you need to boost your retirement savings, give us a call to schedule a consultation. We can show you ways to establish a secure stream of income in retirement, so that worries about Social Security won’t keep you up at night.