To Reform or Not to Reform:  What's Best for Middle-Aged Americans?

The Social Security Administration itself has warned
America that a crisis is looming.  By 2017, Social Security will be paying more in retiree benefits than it receives in taxes.  Americans must realize the importance of Social Security reform.  The longer we wait, the harder it will be to fix the system - and the more it will cost. 

You may have heard about how voluntary personal retirement accounts can change the future of Social Security f
or young Americans by giving them the opportunity to build a "nest egg" with part of their Social Security taxes.  But what will personal retirement accounts do for middle-aged Americans?

Personal retirement accounts can help strengthen Social Security f
or middle-aged Americans, as well as seniors and young workers.  As a working American approaching retirement, you'd have the opportunity to choose whether or not to set money aside in a personal retirement account of your own.

If you choose to begin a personal retirement account, you'd have the opp
ortunity to invest a portion of your Social Security payroll taxes in a diversified mix of conservative bond and stock funds. 

Or, if you don't feel that a personal retirement account is right f
or you, you'd still be able to continue to pay all of your Social Security taxes into the system.  The new "nest-egg" accounts would be entirely voluntary.  When you retire, you'll draw full Social Security benefits at a level determined by the Social Security system at that time.  Many experts believe that because fewer retirees would rely solely on the system for retirement security, personal retirement accounts could help sustain benefits for future retirees who opt not to invest.

  Will your retirement benefits be secure? Find out how personal retirement accounts will affect Social Security for you, your children, and your grandchildren.  
  Will Social Security be there for you? How can personal retirement accounts help you prepare for the future? Find out how Social Security reform can help ensure your retirement security.  
The average monthly retirement benefit in 2003 was $879.70. Without personal retirement accounts, "fixing" Social Security could mean benefit cuts of nearly 30 percent or massive tax increases.
Eight in ten Americans pay more in Social Security taxes than they do in federal income tax.
Thirty-two million Americans receive retirement benefits from Social Security. This number will double by 2030.
> "Repairing" Social Security without personal retirement accounts could result in benefit cuts of nearly 30 percent for seniors, or tax hikes of 50 percent f or workers.
> Just 55 years ago, there were 16 workers paying Social Security taxes for every one retiree who received benefits from the system. Today there are just 3.4 workers for every retiree.
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