As summer goes into full effect, many young Americans are finally receiving their first paycheck. We open our letter with excitement and pride only to have our heart drop when we see three despairing words: Social Security Tax. For many senior citizens, this is more than a tax, this is a source of income they have earned which now helps to maintain their livelihood; however, our generation will not share in this same luxury. As contributing members of this society, we owe it to ourselves to be fully educated on Social Security and understand the precautions all of us can take to secure a better financial future.
To better understand Social Security, we first have to recognize its initial introduction. When Social Security was established during the Great Depression, it was a self-supporting program. The problem is Americans are living longer and there are simply too many people for the program to stay solvent. When it was first introduced there were forty-one workers paying for one retiree. Due to a drastic improvement in modern medicine and a boom in population, there are now 2.9 workers paying for one retiree.
To make matters worse, the baby boomers haven't even hit retirement age. When they do, there will be a massive influx of Americans drawing from the Social Security fund which will worsen the problem ten-fold. To make the perfect storm, our government won't compromise on alternatives due to our hyper-political system. Couple this problem with the fact that any politician who looks to de-construct Social Security will risk their seats because senior citizens are the only constant voter. In summary, the program will go bankrupt because it is no longer financially plausible and no one is going to fix it. This is where you step in.
As college students, we have the most valuable commodity, time. Due to the power of compound interest, money that we invest into the stock market can double, triple, even quadruple by the time we retire. The only problem hindering compound interest is your ability to save.
As young Americans, we were dealt a very bad hand. We are being forced to pay for the mistakes of generations before us. Rather than getting mad at this gross incompetence, we should instead embrace this adversity and financially prepare for the future. Your future self just might thank you.