Government projections for the solvency of Social Security and Medicare are worsening, which may increase the likelihood of your clients’ becoming more reliant on other income-generating investments in retirement. With federal budget deficit challenges more prominent in the news media, it may be a good time to review retirement strategies with clients.
In recent weeks, the Social Security Board of Trustees reported to Congress that Social Security is expected to be insolvent by 2036, one year earlier than last year’s estimate. At the same time, the Trustees found that Medicare will reach insolvency by 2024 — five years sooner than previously calculated.
In addition, government is eyeing reforms, including benefit limits, as a fix for both programs and to serve as part of a solution to the nation’s growing debt.
Some clients may have already excluded Social Security benefits from their retirement planning. But for those who expect to rely on Social Security for part of their income, potential changes to the program, such as extending the age at which workers qualify for full benefits, are important topics for discussion.
With health-care costs also rising, planning for future needs remains a challenge. In 80% of the years from 1936 to 2008, the medical-care inflation rate surpassed the rate for all items in the Consumer Price Index, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The accelerating risk of Medicare’s insolvency, as well as proposals to reform the program, make a review of retirement strategies even more timely and can help reassure clients that they are saving adequately for their future health-care needs.
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