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Since the outset of the Social Security program, by how much has the average number of years that people collect old-age benefits increased?

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When Social Security began paying benefits in 1940, the average 65-year-old male had a life expectancy of 11.9 more years. By 2016, this figure had increased to 18.2 years, while the retirement age had increased by one year. This amounts to a 45% increase in the time spent collecting old-age benefits. For females, the time spent collecting old-age benefits increased by 47%.

DocumentationSocial Security Finances




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