Medicare and Social Security Outlook Worsens

Medicare and Social Security Outlook Worsens
by Siobhan Hughes @ The Wall Street Journal

WASHINGTON—The Medicare trust fund will be exhausted five years earlier than previously thought, trustees for the program said on Friday, in a projection that puts pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to deal with the program’s long-term financial strains.

The Medicare program that covers hospital stays will be exhausted in 2024, the Social Security and Medicare Board of Trustees said. The shortfall is due to higher projected health-care costs and lower payroll taxes, a symptom of the recent recession that reduced contributions from workers and employers.

Social Security reserves will be exhausted in 2036, one year earlier than previously estimated, mostly because people are living longer. But lower levels of immigration and weaker earnings as unemployment remains relatively high also played a role.

SABR Matt and I won’t hit the current retirement age until the 2040’s. If our leaders can’t suck it up and fix these programs, I guess we’re screwed.

In related news:

The Millionaire Retirees Next Door

Typical retired couples will collect $1 million or more in Social Security and Medicare. This is more than they paid in, and the cost will fall on today’s workers.

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