Social Security was Created in 1935

Posted by Bruce W. Woolpert on Mar 18, 2015

DID YOU KNOW? Since 1935 when Social Security was created, life expectancy has increased by 26% to age 78, while Social Security’s retirement age has gone up just 3 percent, to 67. Social Security’s problems are rooted not just in longevity (which is a good thing) but also in the ratio of people working to those already drawing their Social Security benefit. In 1945, there were 42 workers for a single retiree. In 2009, there were three workers for every retiree. 

Today, a typical 65-year-old will live to age 83. One in four 65 year-olds will live to age 90; and one in ten 65-year olds will live to age 95+. The Social Security administration now provides an incentive to stay in the workforce. If you work beyond the normal retirement age, Social Security increases the annual benefit. For example, the monthly benefit that someone would receive at age 70 instead of age 66 is 32% higher. Some years ago, a Graniterock Family University topic was about human life expectancy and included a Stanford Medical School professor who studied body aging. 

The professor concluded that the human body has an ultimate longevity of 120 years of age. At 120, the vascular system is no longer viable. He predicted that we will have a cure or prevention for cancer and body organs will be replaceable (e.g., new heart). When Graniterock was founded in 1900, male life expectancy was 41 years of age and female life expectancy was 46 years of age. A conclusion is that America needs to do a better job discussing and deciding issues of retirement and work activity later in life.

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