$22.54 Here, $22.54 There, Next Thing You Know You’re Talking Serious Money

Rick Perry caught a lot of flack for calling Social Security a Ponzi Scheme, which is just a tad dramatic but still provides the helpful service of putting the Social Security issue on the table for discussion. I thought of this as I read the always interesting Now I Know and came across this little tidbit of info:

The first person to receive Social Security benefits was a lady by the name of Ida May Fuller, who retired in 1939 at the age of 65, and received her first check — for $22.54 — on  January 31, 1940.  Fuller had worked for three years under the Social Security system, so she had made some contributions to the overall fund, but only $24.75 worth.  She came out ahead by the time she cashed her second benefits check — the second of very, very many.  Fuller lived to be 100, passing away on January 31, 1975, thirty five years to the day she received that $22.54.  Her total lifetime Social Security benefits?  $22,888.92.

Personally I've always assumed that the baby boomers screwed the rest of us out of our benefits a long time ago, so I'm on my own to figure out how to live to 100 while staying gainfully employed.

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