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How Much Money Does the Average American Get From Social Security?

A protester holds a sign supporting social security

A protester holds a sign supporting social security A protester holds a sign supporting Social Security. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

You can expect to hear a lot about Social Security in coming years. The program, which has helped keep America’s seniors out of poverty for decades now, is in trouble. And policymakers are reluctant to try to remedy the situation. Still, millions of people depend — or will depend — on Social Security to get them through their golden years.

And that’s one of the biggest issues with the program: The people who depend on it now are rapidly burning through what’s supposed to be used later. With time, Social Security will become insolvent, and if we don’t take any action to sort it out soon, we’ll have a very big and ugly mess on our hands.

The truth is the average American needs to be doing a better job of planning for retirement. At some point, your body isn’t going to be able to keep working. You’ll get sick or hurt, or structural economic changes will force you out of the labor pool. It’s going to happen to everybody sooner or later. And depending on Social Security alone as a source of income in your later years isn’t going to cut it.

How do you know? Just look at what the average person receives from social security.

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