What's it like to Be Retired? Interesting Commentary by Irwin!

 Social Security Statistics

Social Security statistics are downright scary to me!

Due to the economy, many seniors have lost their jobs just like younger folks have.

What happens? If eligible, many are applying for Social Security retirement benefits earlier than they had hoped to. They need the income... makes sense.

Social Security (and the Federal Government) always knew loads of Baby Boomers (that's us, folks!) would be applying for Social Security in great numbers as there are so many Boomers... that's always been known and feared. However, they never considered an economy like ours, and now even MORE seniors have started Social Security benefits much earlier than they wanted to.

Numbers of seniors who applied for Social Security benefits in 2009 were 23 percent higher than 2008, and those applying for Social Security disability benefits were twenty percent higher.

To put this into real numbers (mind boggling numbers)... 2.2 million people applied for Social Security from October through July 09 (budget year), compared to under 1.8 million in 2008.

  • Seniors are "stuck" into that lower Social Security benefit (unless they take advantage of the pay back later, but honestly few can really do that) so they will live on less income than they had assumed... for the rest of their life!
  • These early Social Security payments, from so many seniors that would have waited, are adding to the Social Security problem and our Federal deficit... yikes!
  • Normally, about 2.5 million people apply for Social Security disability benefits each year, but this year they may reach 3 million new people on this benefit. That means that even those below age 62, are opting for disability due to unemployment -- instead of trying to work longer to increase the lifetime benefit.
  • Social Security is a pay-as-you-go system. Current workers with payroll taxes pay for the benefits received by retirees. Now, those still working (far less with horrible unemployment) are paying far less into Social Security which means they have to dip into the small Social Security surplus (meant for when they thought they'd really need it with Boomers). Bye Bye Surplus!

There are 43 million retirees and dependents who receive Social Security benefits. An additional 9.5 million receive disability benefits. The average monthly benefit for retirees is $1,100 while the average disability benefit is about $920.

That's a LOT of people and a LOT of money...


More on Social Security Benefits...