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Social Security and Medicare finances look grim as overall debt piles up

Social Security and Medicare will run out of money in just over a decade, a new report warned Monday, putting fresh pressure on Congress to address the nation's financial health as federal debt rises and the population ages.

The trustees for the massive retirement programs project that Social Security will be insolvent by 2035, and Medicare by 2036, which would force benefit cuts. That's better than many experts had expected, though - last year, federal actuaries said the programs could go belly-up sooner. The report said the roaring job market and low unemployment rate means more workers are contributing to the programs, shoring up their finances even while record numbers of retirees enroll for benefits.

But that improvement may not last and can't change an overall bleak picture, the trustees said, and Congress still must act to stabilize the programs to prevent cutting off benefits from tens of millions of seniors or plunging the nation into insurmountable debt.


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