Social Security and Medicare: The 2017 Trustees Report

Where does your Social Security pension fit into your retirement plan? That might depend on your age and your view on the program’s long-term prognosis.

The annual trustee reports on Social Security and Medicare were released earlier today and showed little change from last year’s report. Depending on your perspective, that is either good or bad. The bottom line is that the estimated insolvency date of Social Security’s big trust fund is 2034, which is unchanged from last year. The other big fund is Medicare’s hospital trust fund. Last year, it was projected to run out of funds in 2028. That date has been updated to 2029 in this year’s report.


As most are aware – or should be – both funds are paid for by wage earners out of their Social Security payroll taxes. What the insolvency dates mean is that payroll taxes will be the only source of benefit payments once the trust fund reserves are gone.

The Social Security report also projected that the program’s 2018 cost of living adjustment (COLA) would be 2.2 percent, the largest in several years. The COLA establishes annual … Read the Summary

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. Hey, James. Thanks for putting this sobering information out there. Right now, Mrs. Groovy and I are counting on 75% of our promised SS benefits and much more constrained/expensive Medicare. We’re also keeping our eye on medical tourism. If healthcare gets totally out of control here, there’s always Mexico, India, or Singapore.

    • Planning on less, while entitled to more, is a great approach. My retirement plan assumes one or more of our income streams will be impacted (negatively) by factors beyond our control. While I anticipate we’ll get all our Social Security benefits, we could get by quite comfortably with none of it. Regarding medical tourism, we see that quite a bit being here in southern Arizona. Lots of retirees travel to Mexico for medication, dental care, and some medical treatment. In fact, a lot of the active adult/retirement communities have frequent shuttle services for residents.

      Thanks for stopping by, my friend and sharing your thoughts.

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