Social Security is a critical source of income for many of the nearly 42 million retired workers receiving a monthly benefit check. Data from the Social Security Administration shows that more than three in five retired workers receiving benefits relies on their monthly check to account for at least half of their income. Without that income, we'd probably be talking about millions of additional senior citizens living below the poverty line and struggling to make ends meet.
Of course, this vital program for tens of millions of retirees is also a source of frustration and angst. According to the latest annual report from the Social Security Board of Trustees, the program is on track to burn through its nearly $3 trillion in asset reserves by 2034, which is the same forecast as issued in its 2016 report. Should Social Security burn through this excess cash, an across-the-board cut in benefits of up to 23% may be needed to extend the solvency of the program through the year 2091. It's not a particularly rosy outlook for those who rely on Social Security to make ends meet.