Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Social Security: 1 Shocking Fact Most People Don't Know

By Dan Caplinger – Mar 9, 2014 at 8:30AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Millions rely on Social Security without having a clue about one key fact about the program. Find out what it is.

Social Security is a key component of financial security for millions of Americans. But there's one thing that most people don't realize about Social Security, and it has huge implications for their benefits in the future.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, examines how Social Security is not a legally recognized property right and therefore can be taken away with impunity. Dan notes that most people think of themselves as being entitled to benefits, having paid taxes throughout their careers. But a 1960 Supreme Court case found that a government law taking away Social Security for citizens deported on account of being Communists was constitutional, and that precedent has been cited in numerous cases since then. From a political standpoint, it's unlikely that a massive withdrawal of benefits would happen, but it's still a danger that you should consider in your financial planning.

Dan Caplinger doesn't own shares of companies mentioned in this article. 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.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.