It comes as no surprise to me that Social Security and Medicare are projected to run out sooner than originally thought. At some point during my education, probably in high school, I remember a teacher telling us that Social Security probably wouldn’t be available by the time people my age were eligible, so I don’t think I ever really believed that I would be getting any sort of Social Security benefits upon retirement. Blame the Baby Boomers. Or rather, blame their parents.
On some level, it’s frustrating. I pay in all this money with the promise that I will benefit from it later. But at the same time, I pay in this money so my grandparents and in a few years, my parents benefit. Social Security helps me by helping them, because it means that I’m that much less likely to have to help support my parents upon retirement.
I’ve heard a number of people joke that Social Security is just a big Ponzi scheme, which makes me laugh, but I see the argument. The money being paid in with the promise of returns later is instead being used directly to pay out to those who have been in the program longer.
Clearly, the bigger issue here is Medicare, and I’m not sure what the solution is. It’s sad that all of these problems will end up falling on the elderly, people who should be respected and cared for and thanked for all they have done for the younger generations. I’m young enough that I can make changes in my retirement plans to hopefully still have enough set aside when I do finally retire. Many people don’t have that luxury.