ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – Social Security is a crucial part of retirement planning for millions of Americans. With nearly 50 million retired beneficiaries, the program provides essential financial support to retirees, disabled workers, and dependents of retirees and deceased retirees. Keeping up with the changes and challenges of Social Security is vital for anyone preparing for retirement.
As of 2024, there are several important factors to consider when it comes to Social Security. One key aspect is understanding what to expect from Social Security benefits. Knowing that the average monthly retirement benefit was $1,845 as of November 2023, or about $22,000 annually, can help individuals better plan for their retirement. Additionally, it’s essential to be aware that Social Security benefits are increasing by 3.2% in 2024 through cost-of-living adjustments.
In addition to the increase in benefits, several key numbers related to Social Security are changing in 2024. The maximum earnings limit, which reflects the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security taxes, is rising to $168,600. This means that higher earners will have more of their income taxed for Social Security. Furthermore, the amount of earnings needed to earn one credit towards Social Security is increasing, which can impact an individual’s eligibility for benefits.
Despite concerns about the future of Social Security, the program is not projected to run dry in 2024 or any time soon. While certain challenges are looming, the program’s trustees’ 2023 report states that the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) Trust Fund will be able to pay 100% of total scheduled benefits until 2033, with continuing program income sufficient to pay 77% of scheduled benefits after that. This indicates that there will always be some funds available for benefits as long as workers continue to pay into the system.
However, it’s essential to note that Congress has the ability to address and strengthen Social Security to ensure its long-term sustainability. Advocating for necessary changes to protect retirement income is crucial for individuals relying on Social Security benefits. By staying informed about the program’s updates and engaging with policymakers, individuals can contribute to the protection and improvement of Social Security for current and future retirees.