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.
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...