Current estimates are that the SS trust fund will be empty in 2037. Can we afford to wait until 2026 to make these changes?
Well, there really is no 'trust fund' - our gov't replaced that with IOUs long ago. That's just the point where the IOUs become due and we start funding SS out of the general budget in part.
I think that yes, we can wait to make these changes - or could make minor ones quicker. Increase the retirement age 1 year every decade for the next century, and the program goes on for as far as we project with no other changes.
SS is actually in far better actuarial shape, than our own government! If you consider SS to be 'broke,' the government is also broke - far more so.
Edit: I'm guessing that 1955 was chosen as the age at which it's too late to expect folks to start saving for their own retirement. OR, that's the peak of the boomers who will vote for it as long as it doesn't affect themselves.
I think this is dead on.