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What Percentage of Income Should Come from Social Security?

ocial Security is not a program designed to fully replace income upon retirement so it is important to know just what percentage of your current monthly income will come from those benefits.

It was never the intent that Social Security would be the total replacement for income earned prior to retirement or to duplicate the same standard of living prior to retirement. Instead, the system was designed to help elderly people living in poverty while giving greater benefits to those putting more money into the system.

Social Security is only intended to give retired Americans a percentage of their pre-retirement income as discussed by My San Antonio in "How Much of My Income Will Social Security Replace in Retirement?"

Of course, this begs the question of exactly what percentage of your income you can expect to receive in monthly Social Security benefits when you retire. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is "it depends."

Generally, the system is designed to give American's 40% of their pre-retirement income, but what that means for any individual varies widely. Generally speaking, the less you earn now the more of your income Social Security will replace. This is because when calculating a monthly benefit the first $856 of income is multiplied by 90% while income between that amount and $5,157 is multiplied by 32%. Income above $5,157 is multiplied by 15%.

An elder law attorney could be helpful in clearing up any confusion and advising you on what to expect upon retirement.

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