A Closer Look

Social Security in US – More people claim at their first opportunity

More people claim at their first opportunity US Flag

More people claim Social Security at age 62, the earliest opportunity to get benefits, than any other age, according to a study of Social Security data by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Few people wait beyond full retirement age to claim

By contrast, only a small number of people wait beyond their full retirement age to take benefits. According to the Boston College study, just 10% of women and 9% of men took benefits later than their full retirement age. Only 4% of women and 2% of men waited until age 70.

The majority of retirees get most of their total income from Social Security

Most people know that Social Security plays a big part in providing retirement income, but few realize just how important it is. Among married couples, 53% get at least half of their income from Social Security.

Social Security tax rates have risen sixfold since the 1940s

When Social Security first began, the amount of payroll tax withheld from worker pay was just 1%. But in the 1950s, the tax rate started going up, reaching 5% by the early 1970s. Since then, subsequent increases have raised the rate to 6.2%, where it has stayed for a quarter-century.

The worker-to-retiree ratio has plunged

One stress on Social Security is the fact that the number of retirees has risen sharply compared to the number of workers supporting benefit payments through payroll taxes. In the 1940s and 1950s, the ratio of workers to retirees started out high, as relatively few people were enrolled in Social Security but the worker numbers were fairly steady.

In 1950, 16.5 workers supported every beneficiary. By 2015, that number had fallen to 2.8. Moreover, the trend is continuing, and by 2035, only 2.1 workers will support each beneficiary. That will put further strain on the program.

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 5 Social Security Stats That Will Blow You Away | Fox Business

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