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Social Security

Social Security provides benefits to 44.2 million people in the United States, about one out of every six Americans. Most (62%) are retired workers. The rest are spouses and children of deceased workers (16%), people with disabilities who have not reached retirement age (10%), and spouses and children of retired or disabled workers (11%).

Monthly benefit checks average $953 for individuals and $1,430 for retired workers and their spouses. Full benefits are currently available to those who retire at age 65, though this age is scheduled to be adjusted upward to 66 for those born after 1943, and to 67 for those born after 1959. Reduced benefits are allowed for those who retire as early as age 62. Overall benefit levels are adjusted upward each year for inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Social Security is funded through a 12.4% payroll tax divided evenly between employers and employees (6.2% each). The tax is applied to wages up to $72,600, with no taxes levied on wages earned beyond that amount. This cap is adjusted upward each year for inflation, as measured by the CPI. Social Security taxes are not assessed against investment-related or other non-wage related income.






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