A Look at How Social Security Benefits Have Grown Over the Years

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According to the Social Security Administration, the average monthly retirement benefit was $1665 in March. That might not seem like a lot of money when you consider today’s cost of living, but it’s a substantial amount more than early beneficiaries received.

Yahoo! Finance looked at how Social Security benefit checks have grown over the years and it’s really quite remarkable. In 1950, the average monthly Social Security payment was $43.86 — that equates to $471.54 in 2020 dollars. By the 1980s, benefit amounts grew from $341.40 in 1980 to $566.85 in 1981. At the turn of the century, in 2000, the average monthly Social Security payment climbed to $844.48 ($1,266.24 in 2020 dollars) — that’s about 20 times what they were in 1950. In the past 20 years, benefits continued to climb, almost doubling to where they stand today.

What will the future hold? If nothing happens to halt inflation, estimates are that 2023 benefits could increase by about $150 per month with the predicted cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

The Seniors Trust is committed to protecting and expanding Social Security retirement benefits for every American senior. Its mission is to convince lawmakers to pass the Social Security Expansion Act. This landmark piece of legislation seeks to reform Social Security by adopting a new COLA calculator — one that takes the unique spending habits of seniors into account. This should help protect benefits from the impact of inflation.

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