In 1932, President Roosevelt proposed a new economic security system based on social insurance instead of welfare assistance. The goal was to prevent America’s oldest citizens from living their last years in financial destitution. Employees would pay for their own future economic security by paying taxes while still young and employed.
On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act was signed into law. Although the system did not immediately provide relief for some of the economic challenges during the Great Depression, it was nonetheless a more sustainable model to avoid the same problems in the future.
The program now provides benefits to over 50 million American and is financed with the payroll taxes from over 150 million workers and their employers.
Further modifications of the program are a certainty as our people and our government continue to evolve and shape this program, reflecting the desire of each new generation.
Since Social Security is the primary source of income for many retirees, knowledge of the latest strategies and insights is a critical aspect of retirement planning. Program changes are why I don’t always have an immediate answer for clients when I am asked, “When should I begin taking social security?” There is an extremely wide range of variables and circumstances that affect your Social Security: Are you married? Are you divorced? Are you a widow(er)? Are you still working? If you are still working how much do you earn? Are you a federal employee? Are you a spouse of a federal employee? The list of factors continues on.
As one can see, “when” to begin taking Social Security benefits hasn’t become an easy decision over its 85-year history. This is why I recommend a more involved conversation versus a quick call to the social security office. The person on the other end of the phone may have data, but they don’t know you and your entire situation.
Please remember that we are “here” and available for you. If you have any questions or concerns, financial or otherwise, please do not hesitate to call or email. If you have friends, family, or neighbors you feel would benefit from a conversation with me, I’m more than happy to have a call or jump on a Zoom meeting with them.
As always, I hope that you are doing well, and staying safe & healthy!