What Happens After 2037?

Social Security is predicted to go negative in 2037, at which point it must reduce benefits.

OK, 2037 -- no worries. Except that, as I said, I turn 41 this summer, which means I’ll turn 67 and qualify for full Social Security benefits in mid-2036. The very next year, the Social Security trust fund will be exhausted, according to the “intermediate” scenario contained in the most recent Social Security Trustees Report, available here (see Section IV-B and Appendix E). The program will still pay out some benefits -- but less than 3/4s of what it now promises. So what happens then? That’s not a good question if you’re my age or younger.

But suppose you’re not my age or younger. Suppose you’re 10 years older than me, and will have collected 10 years of benefits by 2037. Don’t feel smug -- you’ll be asking “So what happens next?” when you’re 77. That’s not a good question at your age, either.

Me, I figure I will never see a Social Security payment. That, or the currency will be so devalued as to be worthless for planning purposes. Via A Birthday Gift from Paul Krugman | Cato @ Liberty.