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Discussion: (2 comments)

  1. RonRonDoRon

    “SSA states that “Most financial advisors say you’ll need about 70 percent of your pre-retirement earnings to comfortably maintain your pre-retirement standard of living. Under current law, if you have average earnings, your Social Security retirement benefits will replace only about 40 percent.” These commonly-known factoids shape how we view Social Security’s generosity and Americans’ overall readiness for retirement.”

    The Social Security program was not designed to “maintain your pre-retirement standard of living” – it was designed to prevent abject poverty in old age.

    1. Andrew Biggs

      I’m not so sure of that. I know I’ve seen some historical quotes indicating that replacing pre-retirement income — rather than simply supplying protection against poverty — was implicit in how the program’s founders saw things. The benefit formula itself isn’t very well-designed to protect against poverty, since there’s no real minimum benefit and retirees with little labor force attachment — who are the most likely to end up in poverty — may not even qualify for benefits.

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