Image via WikipediaSocial Security is something invented in the 1930's. It was supposed to give you retirement money when you retire at age 65.
Do you have any idea what is the life expectancy of Americans in the 1930's?
62. Yep, 62. (as of 1935, 61.7 to be exact)
In other words, you are not really supposed to enjoy social security, even though you did pay for it. Yet you cannot opt out of it either.
What's more, the earliest social security law excluded almost 50% of the workforce. No domestic help, no hospital worker, no agricultural worker, and a lot more exclusions (see wikipedia)
That was 70+ years ago. Guess what the life expectancy is now? 78 (okay, 77.8, same link above, as of 2005). Yet the retirement age, i.e. time to enjoy social security, is still 65. And the payout groups have grown steadily larger, and larger.
No wonder social security is going bankrupt. In fact, 2010 will be the first year that Social Security is actually running a deficit. It hasn't yet because it had built up a huge reserve in the past 70 years, but if the retirement age isn't adjusted upward, or the payout severely reduced, social security will cease to exist.