Report: Medicare, Social Security To Run Out Years Earlier Than Expected

WEST READING, Pa. - A bit of a punch to the gut for adults who may be thinking about the future: the well will be running dry.

Most people in their 40s and 50s may not be thinking about what they will need in retirement. But according to a new government report their safety net of medicare and social security could break by the time they turn 65 years old.

The government said the bad economy is to blame for exhausting benefit programs earlier then anticipated.

People walking in West Reading are enjoying their night. And many don't want to think about social security or medicare.

"I don't have any intention of retiring or slowing down at this point," said Dick Henry, Wyomissing.

He's 60-years-old and could start collecting social security and getting medicare benefits in 5 years. But he said he won't. Deborah Hutcheson at 45 is thinking about government benefits, not for her, but for her dad. "He is in a nursing home that is charging $20,000 a month," said Deborah Hutcheson.

Hutcheson runs the store her father started. "I think younger generation we do have kind of a complacent attitude like it will always be there," said Hutcheson.

But it might not. The government announced Friday that at the current rate, social security will be exhausted by 2036 and medicare will be exhausted by 2024.

"Today's report makes clear that while both social security and medicare have sufficient resources to meet their obligations for at least the next decade it is important that we put in place reforms to strengthen these programs," said Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

"I'm not sure if I have any answers, but hopefully people in the right places are working for the right answers," said Tina Shenk.

If that doesn't happen, and you're still young, it's best not to count on those benefits being there. "Hopefully, I save I think by the time I get there, there might not be any," said Shenk.

"If there's not a safety net that could be very very scary," said Hutcheson.

Government officials did stress that benefits are secure today, but securing them for the long-term will require changes to be made by Congress.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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