BEGIN ARTICLE PREVIEW:
Fears about the future of Social Security have been around for decades, perpetuated in part by a general lack of understanding about how the program works. I’ll be honest: Social Security isn’t in a great spot, and 2020 has only thrown salt in its wounds.
But the situation isn’t quite as bad as some people think. Here are two common Social Security myths that, while pervasive, just aren’t true.
1. Social Security is going to disappear
This myth undoubtedly got started because of the Social Security Trustees’ Reports, which have been predicting for several years that the program’s trust funds will be depleted sometime in the early to mid-2030s. This is true, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to disappear once that happens.
Image source: Getty Images.
The trust funds are just one of several sources of Social Security funding. The most important source is the payroll tax all workers pay. It’s 12.4% of your income, up to the first $137,700 you earn in 2020. If you’re self-employed, you pay this all on your own, but if you work for someone else, your employer pays 6.2% and you pay 6.2%. Social Security also gets some money from retirees who owe taxes on their benefits.
These taxes …
END ARTICLE PREVIEW