Millions of retired seniors depend on Social Security to stay afloat financially. You may be hoping to fall back on Social Security once your career wraps up and you're ready to enter retirement.

The good news is that despite the rumors you may have heard, Social Security is not going bankrupt or running out of money. The program's primary source of revenue is payroll taxes, so as long as we have an active workforce, Social Security can continue to get funded.

In spite of that, I'm not planning to rely on Social Security to fund my retirement -- and you may want to take a similar stance. Here's why.

A person at a laptop.

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Benefit cuts are more than possible

While Social Security isn't in danger of going away, benefit cuts are a distinct possibility. That's because the program is facing a revenue shortfall -- one that its trust funds, or cash reserves, can only help with for a limited period of time.

In fact, the Social Security Trustees' most recent report showed that the program's trust funds are likely to be out of money by 2034. Once that happens, Social Security may be forced to reduce benefits universally, leaving current and future recipients with less income to look forward to. I just don't think it's prudent to count heavily on a monthly benefit that may be slashed due to circumstances I can't control.

Social Security won't come close to replacing the income I'm used to 

It's a big myth that your future Social Security benefit will be similar to your monthly paycheck from work. Social Security will replace about 40% of your pre-retirement wages if benefits aren't cut. And that's a big "if."

I happen to be pretty focused on saving for retirement, and I definitely do not spend my entire paycheck every month. Still, I think it's fair to say that I spend more than 40% of my earnings. If I were to decide to fall back solely or even largely on Social Security in retirement, it would require a major adjustment.

I'm pretending Social Security won't be available to me -- even though I know it will

Because Social Security isn't going away, there's no need to write off those benefits as a viable source of retirement income. But I've actually tried to tell myself that those benefits won't be available to me in the hopes of pushing myself to build as strong a nest egg as possible.

These days, I max out my 401(k) plan and also put money into additional accounts I'm earmarking for my retirement. These include a health savings account and a taxable brokerage account.

The way I see it, I'd like to be able to support myself in retirement with money I've saved, and also with money I continue to earn by working on a part-time basis. I'd love to land in a situation where any money that comes in from Social Security is really just extra.

If you adopt a similar attitude, it might really serve as the push you need to focus on building a nest egg. It might also help you avoid a world of stress in retirement if Social Security cuts come down the pike, and they're more substantial than what the program's Trustees are currently calling for.