Reporters would do well to add non-Beltway folks like Ghilarducci and Munnell to their source mix.

Social Security will no doubt edge back into the media conscience as the next debt ceiling deadline approaches. But the story needs to move out of the Beltway and onto Main Street, where reporters can ask real retirees how they’re faring and whether those retiring in the future are really prepared. Reporters have a job to do in furthering that conversation.

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.