Seminars shine a light on Social Security’s future

Officials at Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources say it’s no secret that tax revenue for Social Security is outpaced by payments made to beneficiaries. It’s expected that in less than 20 years, Social Security will only be able to pay out about 75 percent of promised benefits. So what can be done to keep the program healthy for current and future recipients?

“Updating Social Security,” a review of the 12 most common proposals to help Social Security maintain its commitments, will be hosted this month by the county agency during six presentations in Tacoma, Sumner and University Place.  No solutions will be advanced, only the most often suggested ways of sustaining Social Security, said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Aging and Disability Resources.

“When Social Security began in 1935, the life expectancy was 61 years,” said Van Valkenburg. “With the increase in life expectancy since then and a radical demographic shift, the system finds itself facing long-term difficult challenges. We want to help people understand the options that are being discussed.”

“Updating Social Security” will be presented on:

  • Feb. 6 at 12:12 p.m. at the Pierce County Annex, 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma.
  • Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Gig Harbor branch of Pierce County Library System, 4424 Point Fosdick Dr. NW.
  • Feb. 7 at 12:10 p.m. at the County-City Building in Tacoma (930 Tacoma Ave. S.) in the seventh-floor conference room.
  • Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Pierce County Library System’s Sumner branch at 1116 Fryar Ave. in Sumner.
  • Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at the University Place branch of Pierce County Library System, 3609 Market Place W. in University Place.
  • Feb. 11 at 10 a.m. at the Sound View Building, 3602 Pacific Ave. S. in Tacoma.

According to analyses of life expectancies of seniors and their impact on Social Security, a 60-year-old can expect to live to the age of 84. A woman can expect to live, on average, until she’s 86. Additionally, about one of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of 10 will live past 95. The Social Security Board of Trustees projects program costs to rise by 2035, at which point taxes will be enough to pay for only about 75 percent of scheduled benefits.

Additional information about the “Updating Social Security” seminars is available at 253-798-4600.