Social Security Airbags

Takata Airbags and Social Security – what do these have in common?  Several years ago, we never thought about airbags.  We never thought about seatbelts, use them, have them.  You’re going to be safe and sound.  In fact, when all the news that came out about airbags, I thought I was safe because Takata, being a company out of the orient, we knew that Toyota was being affected, Honda was being affected, Kia was being affected, Hyndai was being affected.  Of course, that makes sense. I should be safe and sound.  I drive a European car, so of course they are using European parts – not so.  Takata, it turned out, makes virtually all the airbags for every single automobile on the planet.  We were all going to be affected. 

Social Security, on the other hand, is also something that almost all of us will be affected in one form or another.  If you haven’t, I would recommend that you go online on an annual basis and receive your Social Security statement.  If you are over the age of 60, you typically get this in a paper format in the mail, but if you go online like most people, you’ll be able to see how much money you have earned over the years, what your anticipated estimated amount of benefit will be received. 

Prior to 1981, the full retirement age in the United States was age 65.  Currently it is nearing, at least for me, full retirement age will not be until age 67.  So changes have been made in the past.

On page two of your statement is the following and is in bolded print:  Your estimated benefits are based on current law.  Congress has made changes on the law in the past and can do so at any time.  The law governing benefit amounts may change because by 2035 the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only 80% of the scheduled benefits.

What would happen if your retirement planning meant that you had 20% less money than you had saved in your retirement plan?  What would happen if inflation was 20% higher than what you had anticipated?  What would happen if you live 20% longer than you thought you were going to live?  What would happen if your airbag, the safety net, might also be 20% less than what was anticipated?  Now, I am not a Social Security alarmist.  All I’m saying is laws have changed in the past.  Laws will probably change in the future.  The question is:  what are you doing?  If you were in a car that had a Takata airbag, would you feel safe knowing that in the event of an accident, you were probably going to be safe 80% of the time?  Perhaps now is the right time, the best time, to order my book, “Investments Don’t Hug – Embracing the Life Insurance Asset” available on or  For more information simply go to my website  80%.  80%.  Is your life being planned around a Takata airbag?

I’m Mark Bertrang, author of “Investments Don’t Hug – Embracing the Life Insurance Asset”.


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