WATCH: ‘Can Social Security Survive and Thrive?’ KSAT, AARP discussion on protecting Social Security benefits

Learn about the future of Social Security, and some common misconceptions

Social Security is the backbone of our retirement system. But right now, it’s facing big challenges. The program’s trust fund is being depleted.

Trustees say if Congress doesn’t do anything to shore up Social Security’s finances, beneficiaries will see 17% cut in benefits by 2035. Social Security benefits help older Americans, disabled workers, wounded warriors and families in which a spouse or parent dies.

The nonprofit and non-partisan AARP estimates more than 4.5 million people in Texas receive Social Security benefits. A majority of them are retirees — averaging less than $1,800 per month in benefits. Disabled workers in the state average about $1,500 in benefits per month.

On June 19, KSAT aired a special discussion with AARP about whether the program can survive and thrive. AARP hopes all Americans get involved in the process, so Social Security is protected. Read more about AARP’s efforts and how you can help, here.

KSAT Anchor Stephania Jimenez moderated the discussion, which featured the following panelists:

  • Dennis W, Jansen, Economics Professor, Texas A&M University
  • Marisa Bono, CEO, Every Texan
  • Rogelio Saenz, Sociology & Demography Professor, UTSA

The group discussed why the trust fund is being depleted, how potential benefit cuts would impact South Texas, what Congress can do to keep Social Security solvent, and how all Americans can work together to protect the program.

Get more information about Social Security, here.

Web Extra: Audience Q&A

After the 30-minute discussion, panelists answered the audience’s questions about Social Security.

Don’t believe it: Congress has not ‘taken’ your Social Security money

During the discussion, someone in the audience asked if the American people could stop Congress from raiding the Social Security Trust Fund. Many people have asked that question. However, the premise is false. We spoke with Dr. Jansen after the event, to understand what’s really happening with the Social Security Trust Fund.

You can find more information on the investment holdings for the Social Security trust fund, here.

About the Author

Stephania Jimenez is an anchor on The Nightbeat. She began her journalism career in 2006, after graduating from Syracuse University. She's anchored at NBC Philadelphia, KRIS in Corpus Christi, NBC Connecticut and KTSM in El Paso. Although born and raised in Brooklyn, Stephania considers Texas home. Stephania is bilingual! She speaks Spanish.

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