Science and Things

 

Dear Fellow Investors and Friends,

Demographics is “the science of vital and social statistics.” The demographics affecting Social Security are presenting some huge challenges to the program’s future health. Of course there are other factors, such as retirement age patterns, employment rates, inflation, and other economic and program-specific factors, but this “science lesson” will focus on some key demographic issues.

Social Security will need to be an important part of our retirement safety net. Studies show that nine out of ten retirees and eight out of ten current workers agree on this. But two key demographic factors are having a significant impact: Americans’ longer life spans and not enough workers to support the growing number of beneficiaries.

As most of us know, Social Security payments are funded from payroll taxes, generally shared by employees and employers. In 1965, there were 8.6 workers for every beneficiary. This has declined to 2.8 for every beneficiary in 2015. There are 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 65 every day. So by current estimates, Social Security may only be able to pay 77% of scheduled benefits by 2033. Some say that this could happen as early as 2029.

Americans are strongly opposed to any reductions in benefits, but they are open to some tax changes to strengthen the program. Two of the possible changes that could have a significant impact are to gradually raise the payroll tax rate over a 20-year period, and to either gradually increase the amount subject to the Social Security payroll tax (currently $118,500) or eliminate the cap altogether.

We can only hope that our nation’s leaders will give these issues the proper attention and have the courage to make changes.

No matter what happens, our economic futures are in God’s hands. In addition to prayer, I believe we must continue to be prudent savers and spenders, as well as generous givers. ADF provides some great tools to help you save and receive not only a financial return on your investments, but a Kingdom Return on Investment (KROI) as well.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to seeing God’s Kingdom advanced through your ADF investments. Please share your questions, comments, or prayer requests by contacting me at presidentscorner@orchardalliance.org. They are always welcome.

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA President

Lawrence L. McCooey, CPA, PFS, CGMA
President

 
Larry McCooey