Last week you saw the latest annual report for the Board of Trustees for Medicare (and also the one for Social Security) released on June 5th. The findings were far from pretty. The report rehashes what Medicare has been warning you about for literally decades now. They are imminent to run out of cash.
In fact, in only eight short years, the Medicare Trust Fund will be toast. We are talking about “completely depleted in 2026.” Keep in mind that the Medicare Trust Fund is critical for millions of Americans (if not tens of millions) who have little to no health care benefits without it. Eight years is tomorrow in the world of government finances.
If that was not discouraging enough, Social Security’s Trustees also released their grim reading report. They will pay out a greater amount in benefits for 2018 than they bring in from tax revenues and income from investments. This is a really big deal.
To put it into proper historical context, it will be the very first year this has happened to Social Security since their deficit in 1982, over 35 years ago. The next revelation is far worse though. The Trustees now project that the program’s deficits will only mount each year to the point that their cherished Trust Funds are exhausted completely in 2034.
From this point on, current recipients can realistically look forward to minimally a 25 percent cut in their monthly payments that they worked hard their whole lives to one day receive in a contractual promise from their government. This figure is not idle speculation either. The Trustees of Social Security and Medicare crunched these numbers personally. Their board includes the United States’ Treasury Secretary, among other leading financial policymakers of the U.S.
There is an outstanding idea entrenched in society (propitiated in no small part by the media) that these projections are worthless as they have demonstrated “a history of being wrong.” No statement could be farther from the truth unfortunately.
A rather long 35 years ago, the 1983 annual Social Security Trustees report revealed that the cost of the program would begin to exceed its tax revenues and income from investments in 2020. Today’s report says this will happen two years earlier, this very year in fact. A two year discrepancy in 35 years projecting is pretty impressive. It means that if anything, they were too conservative in their estimates.
Now newspapers oddly enough did pick up on this troubling story this year. They began damage control immediately, informing their readers that both programs are okay Surely the federal government will come riding to the rescue on its now legendary white bailout horse. If only that were true.
Yet the latest annual financial report of the U.S. Treasury tells a different story. The government is currently already bankrupted to the tune of $20.4 trillion. Treasury now shows that their annual deficits in budget will exceed a trillion each year beginning in year 2020. What the newspapers should have been asking was: who is going to bail out Uncle Sam?
Is Your Retirement Portfolio Protected from the Insolvency of Medicare (and Social Security)?
Even short term bandaging the Medicare and Social Security programs would need literally trillions of dollars. It would only mark a first payment on the long-term expenses associated with repairing these insolvent retirement benefits’ programs. The reality is that the U.S. federal government does not possess anywhere near the kind of serious money it needs to work magic on these two programs, not by a long shot.
The good news is that you do not have to lie awake for hours each night pondering how to salvage your own retirement portfolio from the stock market crashing collapse of Medicare and Social Security. Gold has already proven its reliability time and again in periods of government insolvency around the world.
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