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5 changes to Social Security that may arrive by 2020

For over 75 years, Social Security has been helping qualifying individuals who have lost their income, often due to disability or retirement. Right now, that means around 42.4 million workers who have retired are getting those benefits checks every month.

Though the system's use is so widespread, that doesn't mean it stays the same every year. Changes do happen, and it's critical for those who are getting benefits -- or who may get them in the near future -- to know what these changes could look like.

With that in mind, here are five changes some believe could come by the year 2020:

  1. Your full retirement age will keep on going up, as it has done for nearly four decades. It should hit 66 years and eight months by 2020.
  2. Health care will cost more. The health care inflation rate tends to outpace the increases to Social Security, so those checks don't go as far as they once did.
  3. The maximum taxable earnings amount should go up. If it does, this means that the upper class will pay more in taxes to fund Social Security than they do today.
  4. Taxes on Social Security will also be more common. The taxing largely began under the Reagan administration, but 10 percent of people had to pay. In 2015, that had risen to 56 percent. It may keep rising.
  5. Credits will be harder to earn. They're tied to dollars earned, and they determine when you're eligible for benefits. As inflation continues, you'll need to earn more for each credit.

It will be very important to keep an eye on Social Security for the next few years to see which of these predictions come true and what that means for your benefits and your legal rights.

Source: The Motley Fool, "5 Social Security Changes to Expect by 2020," Sean Williams, Jan. 15, 2018

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