...by 2042 the payroll taxes collected will pay only 73 percent of scheduled benefits...

Your estimated benefits are based on current law. Congress has made changes to the law in the past and can do so at any time. The law governing benefit amounts may change because, by 2042, the payroll taxes collected will be enough to pay only about 73 percent of scheduled benefits.

These were the words that immediately followed all the rosy projections telling me about how much I'll be making from Social Security when I retire.

This was all part of "Your Social Security Statement" which I recently received in the mail.

In the past, you had to write to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to ask for your record of your Social Security wages and taxes paid. From your wage history, The SSA made an estimate of your future benefits.

Now such a statement is "especially prepared" for each worker, and automatically mailed to their last address of record.

You'll want to take a look at your statement. Although the projections may be unreliable for a system which will start to bleed red ink within 14 years, you still want to verify that your wage history is accurate.