As Americans age, their hard-earned work careers are supposed to provide for them in the twilight years.

The Social Security system was created under the president Franklin D. Roosevelt administration as America tried to combat the rising economic disaster due to the Great Depression. It was his administration’s belief that to stave off economic ruin, a new system was needed to fund the aging population’s needs.

The work-related system was created to allow employees to contribute to their own economic futures, according to the article published by the Social Security Administration, titled, “Traditional Sources of Economic Security.” The article provides a history of the creation of the system and how it came to pass. Understanding the history of such a massive government program leads one to respect the attempt to ensure some form of financial independence.

As with many ideas, the original intent and purpose of the Social Security system has been lost.

Politicians have used the fund as their own chopping block. Their bad economic policies have led many to wonder if the Social Security system that provided funding for their grandparents will be available to them as they age.

As Americans see the withdrawals of money from checks to be placed into their Social Security fund, some may wonder if they are just giving money to the government. Has the Social Security payment become a tax on Americans? Has this money become a fund for politicians, rather than the American people?

I am a son to a mother and a father who will one day need to dip into their Social Security to pay for daily expenses. They will be relying on the funds to help them survive the latter years of their lives. I fear, as many children do, that some of the American people rely too heavily on the possibility of having Social Security funds available after they retire.

I have seen many people focus mainly on the fact that they will have a Social Security check available, rather than saving and investing so their economic future could be brighter.

Only 35% of Americans have investment accounts outside of their retirement, according to the Pew Research Center.

As I have seen in my own personal life, family members who are lower income rely heavily on the notion that Social Security will be available to them as they age.

This thinking may cause people not to secure more opportunities for financial freedom in retirement years. For so many children who will not receive an inheritance when parents retire or pass away, financial burdens are shifted to the children.

Many aging Americans have nothing saved. My own father does not have a retirement account, and when he passes, he will leave owed bills instead of an inheritance. This is the reality of so many people, as their parents can’t wait to reach the age where they can receive their Social Security checks.

Younger Americans should prepare for the possibility of not having a Social Security check when they retire.

We should take whatever small amounts of pre-taxed dollars we can an invest in our futures so we do not have to depend solely on the mad dash to Social Security.

Corey Carolina is a North Tulsa entrepreneur and activist, and owner of Carolina Food Co. He wrote this commentary for CNHI News Oklahoma.

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