Social Security Turns 85. Will You Have Enough Money When You Turn 85?

Pamela Kweller RSSA Staff


Social Security is celebrating its 85th birthday on Friday August 14, 2020. The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935.

According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security is the major source of income for most of the elderly. Approximately 9 out of 10 Americans who are 65 or older receive Social Security benefits.

A lot has changed since 1935. Over time, there have been many changes and amendments to the Social Security program. The program and its future remain a hot topic and it is clear that changes need to be made to ensure the solvency of the program. However, whether or not Social Security has a shaky future, Social Security is essential and the program has been successfully doing its job for over 80 years. Happy Birthday Social Security!

Now, what about you? Will you have enough money when you turn 85?

This is an important question.

According to the Social Security Administration, the current life expectancy of a 65-year-old is just over 20 years. This means that the average 65-year-old will live to be about 85 years old!

Life expectancy is a critical piece of information to consider when making a Social Security decision. Many people tend to underestimate their life expectancy and this is concerning. If you underestimate your life expectancy, you have the possibility of outliving your funds.

Although you can’t predict the future and you will never know the exact age you will live until, estimated life expectancy is still an important piece of the retirement planning puzzle. You can estimate your life expectancy using an online calculator. The SSA provides a basic calculator, but if you want a more precise estimate you can use this calculator.

Since life expectancy is not an exact science, it is recommended that you plan for a longer retirement rather than a shorter one. There are high costs associated with a higher life expectancy such as healthcare, assisted living, and caregiving costs. It is better to be prepared with sufficient funds rather than risking it and possibly running low on funds when you need it most.

One way to help you have enough money for the entirety of your retirement is by maximizing your Social Security benefits. When you claim your benefits, your monthly payment is locked in for life (aside from Cost Of Living Adjustments/COLAs) and therefore, it is crucial that you make the optimal claiming decision.

If you need support making Social Security filing decisions, a Registered Social Security Analyst® (RSSA) can help. A RSSA will take an abundance of items (including life expectancy) into account when analyzing and assessing all of your possible claiming strategies. A RSSA’s goal is to help you make the optimal Social Security decisions enabling you to enjoy your retirement. Visit to request a free consultation with a Social Security expert.


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