FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
If you're planning to rely on Social Security in retirement, you may want to think again.
The Social Security Administration has already warned that the trust fund will likely run out of money in 2036. That's only 24 years away.
But now there's reason to believe it could run out of money even sooner.
The Congressional Budget Office says by 2020, the combined Social Security old age and disability trust funds will be $800 billion smaller than what the Social Security Administration projected last year.
AOL's Daily Finance suggests when the next SSA Trustees Report comes out, its own projections will probably be revised downward too.
In fact, that's been the trend over the past five years, with Social Security moving up its estimated "run-dry" date from 2041 to 2036.
When the trust fund runs out of money, it's expected benefits will fall by about 25%.
So if you still have time to put away additional money for your own retirement - not an easy thing to do in this economy - you should save up.
More than 54 million Americans collect Social Security for retirement, disability or survivor benefits. The average check for a retiree is about $1,200 per month.
Meanwhile Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the White House and congressional Republicans discussed ways to shore up Social Security last year as part of the debt ceiling talks.
But, big surprise - they couldn't reach a deal.
Lawmakers would either need to cut benefits, raise taxes, or a combination of the two. Won't happen - at least not now.
Here’s my question to you: Do you think Social Security will be there for you when you retire?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Sam in Lexington, Kentucky:
I absolutely don't expect Social Security to be here when I retire (29 now). I'm not planning on the government to figure out how to cut spending at any point before the entire house of cards comes tumbling down. I pretend the money I'm paying into it now goes to my grandparents and that at least lessens my anger that I'm forced to pay into a system that's a complete disaster.
Social Security needs to be restructured. This system should be like a savings account. When you retire, a lump sum should be given to you, and this should be invested in an annuity. This way the government right away is out of it. The lump sum must be invested...thus creating financial jobs. And the retiree can then get a monthly amount.
Jackie in Arlington, Virginia:
Of course Social Security will be there in the future. Despite fear-mongering and myths, it has never missed a check and is still intensely popular across all political parties. The only way it won't "be there" is if we let Congress cut our hard-earned benefits. The long-term funding gap is completely fixable. The extra revenue needed to fix the funding gap in 2036 can be achieved by raising the FICA tax cap on those that make more than $110,000.
I want to be able to opt out of this sinking ship right now. I think I can better save for my own retirement.
Well, I'm going to retire within the next 10 years or so. That shouldn’t be enough time to screw up and renege on the promise that was implied as I paid into the system all these years. But hey, you never know.
Nate in North Carolina:
Social Security? What's that? A card with a 9-digit number? I've heard older people talk about it, but when I asked them what it is, they say, "Don't worry about it." I am still in college and I am more worried about getting a job in this economy, let alone retiring.
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.