Social Security reaches almost every family, and at some point, touches the lives of nearly all Americans. Social Security helps older Americans, workers who become disabled, and families in which a spouse or parent dies. As of June 2019, about 177 million people worked and paid Social Security taxes and about 64 million people received monthly Social Security benefits.
Most of our beneficiaries are retirees and their families – about 48 million people in June 2019.
But Social Security was never meant to be the only source of income for people when they retire. Social Security replaces a percentage of a worker’s pre-retirement income based on your lifetime earnings. The amount of your average wages that Social Security retirement benefits replaces varies depending on your earnings and when you choose to start benefits. If you start benefits at “full retirement age” (see chart on page 7), this percentage ranges from as much as 75 percent for very low earners, to about 40 percent for medium earners, to about 27 percent for high earners. If you start benefits after full retirement age, these percentages would be higher. If you start benefits earlier, these percentages would be lower. Most financial advisers say you will need about 70 percent of pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retirement, including your Social Security benefits, investments, and personal savings.
We want you to understand what Social Security can mean to you and your family’s financial future. This publication, Understanding the Benefits, explains the basics of the Social Security retirement, disability, and survivors insurance programs …” – READ MORE