My carpool conspecific sometimes remarks that Social Security won't be around when he retires. I've heard many young people say this, and I reckon its the product of right wing propaganda about what disastrous financial shape the Social Security Trust Fund is in. It will be broke by 2042! Unfunded liabilities are $11 Trillion Smackeroos! What's the solution? We might as well get rid of it and throw a lot of money at bankers and stockbrokers and insurance companies that will run the "privatized" retirement accounts. How will this help the solvency of the Trust Fund? Look over there, it's the Goodyear Blimp!
I've recently learned that the $11 Trilion figure is based on some interesting assumptions. First, it is a projection of the shortfall through an infinite number of years. $11 Trillion will be needed to shore up the Trust Fund between now and eternity. Secondly, the life expectancy assumed was 150 years for retirements on average of 83 years. I suppose if you're trying to book a reserve for eternity, you'd have to account for future improvements in medical science that may extend life. But if 120 becomes the new 60, which is already the new 50, why wouldn't you also assume that people's productive lives would extend beyond age 67? If most people expect to live to be 150, I'm pretty sure that a reasonable retirement age for them would be 100 or even older.
I think you also have to take into account the certainty that humans will eventually have no need to work. An army of robot slaves will fulfill our every need, and we will live lives of leisure and artistic pursuits. Robots don't retire; they get recycled. Once you take this into account, and assuming that this happens by 2250, my calculations show that the Trust Fund is quite healthy. Heck, future generations might even owe us money! I don't feel so bad about those deficits now.