Social Security and Medicare Lifetime Benefits and Taxes: 2018 Update

Research Report

Social Security and Medicare Lifetime Benefits and Taxes: 2018 Update

Abstract

This brief provides updated estimates of Social Security and Medicare lifetime benefits and taxes for households with different earnings histories, updated to the latest information on income, prices, mortality, and related factors. The tables illustrate how these programs continuously evolve over a 100-year period, stretching from a cohort born around the turn of the 20th century to millennials just coming into adulthood. Many average-income single adults retiring between 2015 and 2020 will receive about $500,000 in benefits, and couples will receive roughly $1 million, substantially more than previous cohorts. Under scheduled law, millennials who turn 65 around 2050 are projected to receive in real dollars about twice as much as those retiring at the time of this report (i.e., about $1 million for an average-income single adult and $2 million for a couple).

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