2.74 million people filed for Social Security Benefits in 2009, and the nation's unemployment is at 9.5%. This larger-than-ever draw against Social Security has created a budgetary shortfall that is projected to become the de rigeur as baby boomers move further toward retirement.
In an article released today by the Associated Press, it was noted that nearly 3 out of 4 people filing for benefits are doing so under the "early retirement" Social Security program, which notably contains benefits at a reduced level. This is a pretty clear indicator of one or more of a few things. Either individuals are scared that benefits design will reduce benefits (or increase the age for full eligibility) and they want to grandfather in, that the funds will not be available when they need them (probably unlikely in the short term), or that aged individuals who want to work are being laid off or cannot find work, and are willing to accept reduced Social Security benefits in order to alleviate the problem. Either way, the economic climate has created a ripple effect that is being felt even by all.
For more information about Social Security, Contact Thomas O'Brien at Feiler & Associates.