Will Social Security Fail?
October 28, 2009

Social Security is facing hard times, which means Baby Boomers now retiring at record numbers may be facing a short fall of retirement benefits in the coming years.  There is even a real possibility Social Security could default, leaving many Americans without any kind of retirement program.

Today more then 51 million Americans receive retirement, disability or survivor benefits through Social Security.  That number increased 500,00 by the end of September.  Average disability checks are $1,062.00 a month, while retirement checks average $1, 159.00, based on June data.  Those applying to Social Security for disability increased by 23 percent through July.  The fiscal year runs October - July.

With home prices taking a huge plunge and the stock market crashing to all time record lows, more Baby Boomers are now considering retiring early.  The stress of the additional early retirees have placed an ever greater burden on Social Security.

Those Baby Boomers who have lost their jobs or accepted buy out packages, find themselves unable to secure jobs in the poor economy.  Unemployment is at an all time high and forecasts seem to predict unemployment will get worse before it gets better.  Those retirees that planned to work until 72, have found themselves with out jobs, without income and their only hope of survival is early retirment

Baby Boomers who are lucky enough to retire at 72 will find their paychecks as much as 25% higher per month then Baby Boomers who retired at 67.  Social Security was never meant to be a retired persons sole source of income, but for many Americans it's not only their sole source of income,  it's the only thing keeping the wolves at bay.

Some Baby Boomers are creative in how they manage their Social Security checks by accepting a simpler lifestyle.  Some down size their homes, choosing to live in areas where the cost of living isn't as high.  Some Baby Boomers move to foreign countries where the US dollar does twice as far as in the US.


What is certain is that Social Security is in need of a major overhaul and time is running out.  It is forecasted that by 2036 Social Security could very well be bankrupt.  It's doubtful the government will allow that to happen, but the US is operating with a record deficit, owing hundreds of billions to other countries.  The US cannot borrow it's way out of debt, anymore then Social Security can fund the staggering number of Baby Boomers retiring over the next decade.


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Second Carrers

The American dream has always been that you worked hard when you were young and when you reached your golden years you retired, enjoying the fruits of your labor.  That dream is disappearing for middle class America.

Workers who should be retiring are starting their second or third careers.  They are taking part time jobs to supplement their income or starting new businesses in the hopes of maintaining their current lifestyle.  Some retirees are finding jobs outside their chosen careers while others are trying their hand at online businesses.

The wonderful aspect of the Internet is that anyone can start a new career online.  That old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" is not true.  Old dogs can learn new tricks, just not quite as quickly as a young pup.  Still we do learn and we do succeed at what we set our minds to. 

If you decide your second career will be marketing a product or service online, set regular hours that you will work each day.  Take the time to read about how to  market products online.  Spend time looking at other web sites to learn the positive and negatives of those web site designs.   If the thought of building your own web site is too, daunting of a task, you can hire a graphic designer to build your web site for you.  Just remember, if someone else builds your web site, it will be difficult (if not impossible) for you to maintain your web site, since you won't understand how your template works.  It's also very expensive to continually hire a graphic designer to update your web site and add new products.  This fact should inspire you to try building your web site on your own, before looking elsewhere for assistance. 

      A second career is just that.... it's a real job.  The truth is most of us would like to retire and not worry about starting new careers.  For some of us, working the rest of our lives is a very real possibility.  Even those individuals who planned well for retirement, have found themselves struggling to survive having lost a good portion of their investments or good paying jobs unexpectantly.

The trick to living a good life is the ability to accept change, to go with the flow, to rethink your plans and dreams and to find new plans and dreams that will keep a roof over your head and food on the table.  We can't change the economy but we can work at keeping a positive outlook on life.  If you learn to bend like a willow, then life won't break you.


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