Yet, what you might find surprising is that despite being such a vital financial pillar during retirement, myths, misconceptions, and falsities about Social Security abound. And what you don't understand about Social Security can indeed cost you.
With this in mind, here are five concrete truths about Social Security that you can take to the bank.
1. It's not going bankrupt
Let's start with the biggie: Social Security isn't going bankrupt. No matter what you've read, the program is incapable of bankruptcy unless Congress were to change how it's funded.
According to the latest Trustees report, the program is going to begin paying out more in benefits than it collects in revenue this year. By 2034, Social Security's $2.9 trillion in asset reserves are projected to be depleted. But this excess cash isn't needed for the program to survive. Its depletion is merely a signal that the current payout schedule isn't sustainable. Cutting that payout by 21% for existing and future retirees in 2034 would offset the expected $13.2 trillion cash shortfall between 2034 and 2092, per the report.