Summary of Publication
Social Security benefits are a key income source for older Americans. For many, these benefits are the only source of retirement income guaranteed for life. These benefits provide seniors with the foundation of income and security that they need in retirement, having contributed to the program for years while working. In today’s challenging economy—including rising health care costs and reductions in retirement saving—Social Security is more vital than ever. The following table shows the importance of Social Security to older Americans, by state and nationally. The first column shows the percentage of older Americans who rely on Social Security for 90 percent, or more, of their family’s income. The second column shows the average Social Security benefit amount for seniors in that state.