It does not matter if you are 18 with a bullet or plowing up the north 40. Before you enter into discussions about the proposed changes in Social Security, you need to know the facts. What will you and some of your compatriots can expect to receive in benefits after providing a lifetime of involuntary investment.
For most of us, it ain’t pretty.
To get a good approximation of what you can expect at retirement visit the Social Security Estimated Benefits Calculator. This will give you a rough idea of how much cat food you will be able to stock up on, provided you do not have a cat. You can’t afford one on what you will receive per month - http://www.ssa.gov/planners/calculators.htm
To get more detailed and personal information you can order the Personal Earnings Retirement Statement (PERS). This will give the exact breakdown by year of your declared W2 earnings. For those that are a little phobic about entering info online you can call a toll free phone number to call 1-800-772-1213 to order the PERS statement.
After you scrape your jaw off the floor and regain the ability to form sentences you will probably have questions. On the Social Security site there are publications to answer those very questions like, “What is the legal age of retirement?” Hint, depending on your birth date, it may be older than you think. http://www.ssa.gov/pubs
Also, the GSA/Pueblo repository has a downloadable copy of rights and benefits - http://www.gsa.pueblo.gov