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26-year-old Elaina Karras makes a living styling hair at William Edge Salon in Nashville, Tennessee.
"My whole life is my job," Karras said. "I absolutely love every second of it."
But one thing she doesn't love is seeing 4.2 percent of her salary being cut out of her paycheck for social security every two weeks.
"I could definitely use that money for my car payment, my insurance," Karras said. "Other types of investments also. I would really like to start investing in an IRA and something that could help me in my future."
Four percent may not seem like much but it adds up.
A worker making $30,000 a year, pays $1,260 to social security every year until they retire. If they work for 50 years, it adds up to a whopping $63,000.
"Putting it into perspective that way, it's definitely a huge number," Karras said.
The latest report on the financial stability of social security says that by the time Karras and millions of other Americans her age, are old enough to retire, social security benefits could be cut by 25 percent.
"It's certainly time to revisit social security in a fundamental way to assure its continuity," said Malcolm Get, professor of economics at Vanderbilt University.
Getz says the change could happen as early as 2033. While he doesn't expect social security to completely dry up as some fear, a reduction in benefits 21 years from now could force millions of Americans to choose between paying for food and paying for medicine.
"When they reach an age when they are to receive benefits, they would receive a smaller benefit so their standard of living would decline," Getz said.
Getz says one way to stabilize social security benefits for the future is to raise the age when workers qualify for full benefits, which today is 67. But for a hairdresser who spends most the day on her feet, working past 70 doesn't sound like a good idea.
"No it doesn't," Karras said. "It seems very discouraging."
Getz says another strategy is to increase the amount of money taken out of every American s pay check.
While Karras plans to invest in her own retirement plan, she says a tax increase might be the only thing to save the safety net millions of Americans depend on.
"People are never excited to give more money but I think it's the only way to actually assure us that we will be getting social security whenever we retire," Karras said.
Tuesday, December 4 2012, 10:46 PM CST
Police charge 3 in transplanted NC woman's slaying
May 22, 2013 10:57 GMT
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina police say they've found no prior connections between a woman killed in her apartment and three people charged with murder.
Raleigh police detectives said Wednesday they've charged the suspects with killing Melissa Dawn Huggins-Jones days before her 31st birthday last week. Huggins-Jones had moved to Raleigh two weeks earlier from Cleveland, Tenn. for a new job and a fresh start. She was originally from Elizabethtown in Bladen County
The suspects in custody are 23-year-old Ronald Lee Anthony Jr., 18-year-old Sarah Rene Redden and 20-year-old Travian Devonte Smith. All three are facing murder charges and are in the Wake County Jail.
Huggins-Jones' 8-year-old daughter found her mother covered in blood inside their new home and sought help from construction workers building apartments in the complex.
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AP Photo FX102, FX103
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