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"SOCIAL SECURITY" on whiteboard

Protecting Your Wealth From Social Security Insolvency

John-Rothans

Written by Philip Diehl

May 16, 2024

I recall first hearing concerns about the financial viability of Social Security when I was in my 20s. At the time, the prospect of that problem affecting me personally seemed pretty remote.

45 years later, I’m now receiving Social Security benefits—and this prospect no longer seems so remote. The loss of benefits would pose a very real threat to the quality of life my wife and I currently enjoy.

Social Security funding has been an issue for some time.

Social Security cards and cash

I served as majority staff director of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over Social Security. I also worked for one of the great defenders of Social Security: U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Another of these defenders, Representative Jake Pickle of Austin, Texas, introduced me at my Senate confirmation hearing for the job of U.S. Mint Director.

Bentsen and Pickle championed a reform package that, in 1983, extended the financial life of the program by as many as 50 years—into the 2030s.

That bipartisan bill, passed 41 years ago, was the last time Congress enacted legislation to extend the life of Social Security.

Today, we face a greater threat to the program than ever before.

Capitol done overlayed with charts

It’s not like we haven't seen this coming. The actuarial tables have been warning us about Social Security for 40 years. There’s been talk about doing something. I recall from my days as chief of staff at the U.S. Treasury that Lloyd Bentsen, then-Treasury Secretary, climbed out on a limb to support new measures to reduce costs and raise revenue to protect the program. That was 30 years ago.

Ten years ago, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner reached a bipartisan “Grand Bargain” to set the program on solid grounds for decades to come, but Speaker Boehner's conference didn’t support the agreement and it died on the vine. And now, here we are, with the Social Security trust funds expected to be depleted by 2035.

How did we get to this place? One reason is that the broad, bipartisan support the program enjoyed for decades no longer exists. Younger people have no confidence that the program will survive until their retirement. Their only financial reason to support it is to avoid the burden of helping their aging parents whose benefits are cut as the program withers.

Others want to cut Social Security to reduce the federal deficit. No doubt, deficits must be addressed. But ending, or crippling, this vital program would be a tragedy for millions of Americans. And an unnecessary one at that.

Solving the financial riddle of Social Security is not rocket science.

It’s a matter of combining some mix of raising the retirement age, increasing contributions to the program, or increasing taxes on high-wealth or mega-income individuals. But since we have failed to confront this challenge for decades, the solution will be harder to swallow for everyone who’s affected. We’ve known that would be the case for decades.

The difficulty compounds as we kick the can down the road.

What can you do? Contact your representative and senators. Tell them it's time to act, now.

You can also take matters into your own hands. Make gold an essential part of your portfolio strategy. We are in the midst of one of the greatest rallies in gold prices, with outstanding prospects it will continue. The time to protect and grow your wealth with gold is now.

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