What is the average retirement income for a single person?
The largest federal welfare programme is relied upon by millions of Americans once they have retired.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) oversees a variety of financial support programmes but it is the retirement benefits that are by far the most widely utilised. The programme provides “replacement income for qualified retirees and their families” and is used by more than 50 million Americans every year, with 15 milion more people using other programmes like those for disability benefits.
In terms of how much you are likely to receive in benefits, figures from the SSA state that the current average monthly benefit for a retired worker is $1,615.81.
Information related to any future Social Security claims can be found by accessing your mySocialSecurity account online, which will show an estimate of how much you could receive when you retire, based upon different criteria.
Spouses of retired workers get $838.88 on average, while children of retired workers typically get $784.57.
Social Security retirement is the main source of income for elderly Americans
The retirement support provided by Social Security was designed to ensure that elderly people are able to cover the cost of essentials and it now plays a vital role in the finances of older Americans. Data published by the SSA last year found that roughly nine out of ten people aged 65 or older in the United States were receiving a Social Security benefit.
Across the country, around 30 percent of the total income of the elderly comes from Social Security benefits. Furthermore, 37 percent of men and 42 percent of women get a majority of their income from Social Security programmes.
What are the future prospects for the Social Security retirement benefits?
Social Security is able to provide vital support for the vast majority of elderly Americans because it is paid for with monthly contributions from nearly all adults in work in the United States. There are dedicated trust funds to cover the costs, but a change in demographics in recent decades could threaten the long-term viability of the programmes.
Estimates now suggest that, using the current model, the trust funds will only be able to pay the full benefits entitlements until 2034. After that point recipients will receive just 75 percent of their benefits, a huge decrease for elderly Americans who are relying on the support for their retirement.
Legislation proposed by Rep. John Larson, Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, aims the address the imbalance and ensure that Social Security will be able to remain for decades to come. He has called for the funding model to be restructured, removing the clause that lowers the rate of taxation for high earners.
However, plans from the Republican party could gut the small welfare state that exists in the US. In a recent FOX News interview, Florida Senator Rick Scott said that, if the Republicans were to win the midterm elections, he would push part of a plan that would include ‘sun-setting’ plans for legislation like Social Security and Medicare.
While this wouldn’t mean the end of the programmes, it puts in place mechanisms in which a government or administration could use to kill the welfare state.