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The way this would work most efficiently would be for the government to subtract whatever earnings you have from your personal retirement account from what your social security benefit would be. However, I am sure there would be widespread opposition to such a plan. What instead would happen is that people would demand they get their full SS benefit and keep all of "their money" which is in their personal retirement account.

If you rule out all the options to which there will be opposition, then SS is doomed. The demographics of longer lifespans and the retirement of baby boomers will results in a much lower worker to retiree ratio. Something's got to give. Either reduce benefits, increase taxes, or improve the rate of return on the money available. Allowing at least some of those assets to grow more aggressively at market rates will reduce the amount of necessary tax increases and benefit cuts. While future retirees may object to trading the return on their private accounts for SS benefits, the alternative is either reduced benefits or increased taxes.

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