The future of Social Security isn’t commanding center stage in this election season. But it’s an important topic sure to receive considerable attention in the years ahead as baby boomers age and begin to rely on this government entitlement program.
If you need a crash course on the basics – what key issues confront Social Security, what trends are most worth following – a recent Associated Press series on Social Security is a great place to start.
Judith Graham (@judith_graham), AHCJ’s topic leader on aging, is writing blog posts, editing tip sheets and articles and gathering resources to help our members cover the many issues around our aging society.
If you have questions or suggestions for future resources on the topic, please send them to email@example.com.
Some of what you’ll learn from the AP series:
Social Security is a primary source of income for most older Americans. “About one-quarter of married couples and just under half of single retirees rely on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income,” reports the AP’s Stephen Ohlemacher, who was responsible for this multi-part effort.
Without this income, large numbers of seniors would be impoverished, without money to pay for medications, their share of the cost of doctors’ appointments or items not covered by Medicare such as eyeglasses or hearing aids. Even with income from Social Security, a significant subset of older people find it difficult to secure adequate food and housing – both of which are essential to their health.
Nearly 56 million people get Social Security benefits. That number will swell to 91 million in 2035.
Social Security pays benefits to the elderly (36 million, average monthly benefit of $1,235), people who are disabled and unable to work (8.7 million, average benefit $1,111), spouses, children and widowers. Continue reading