Millions of Americans rely on Social Security for a substantial portion of their retirement plans. Unfortunately, the program's finances are under long-term pressure. Indeed, the Trust Funds that support Social Security's ability to pay benefits are projected to run out of cash in the next couple of decades.

In the slideshow below, you'll see how letting Social Security invest as if it were a well-managed traditional pension plan could substantially extend the life of its Trust Funds. Of course, you'll also read why that's far more easily said than done.