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Will Social Security Really Run Out of Money?

By Dan Caplinger and Mike Klesta - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:40AM

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Is a looming financial crisis for Social Security myth or reality? The answer might surprise you.

With millions of Americans counting on Social Security to be there when they retire, news that the program could run out of money is scary. But many question whether a looming Social Security funding shortfall is really something to worry about.

In the following segment from their video guide to investment planning, Motley Fool director of investment planning Dan Caplinger talks with Fool markets/IP bureau chief Mike Klesta about Social Security's coming funding challenges. Dan notes that one reason why so many people take their Social Security benefits early is that they think that the program might not be able to pay them later in life. But he thinks that's a mistake, because worst-case scenarios still have Social Security having enough money to pay full benefits for decades to come even without any changes to the program. Moreover, even under current law, retirees would still get about 75% of their benefits even after the Social Security Trust Fund is depleted. Dan concludes that with the likelihood of at least some action from lawmakers before automatic benefit reductions would take place, there's little reason to worry that Social Security won't be there when you need it.

Dan Caplinger and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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