When Social Security benefits were first paid in 1940, 46 percent of adult males couldn’t even make it to 65, and for those who did, the average additional life expectancy was less than 13 years. For a typical 65-year-old couple today, at least one partner, on average, will likely make it to 90 or beyond
For a typical 65-year-old couple, Social Security and Medicare benefits, adjusted for inflation, are worth over $1.1 million today, compared with $330,000 in 1960.
Declines in birthrates and, at times, immigration rates, have helped lower the ratio of covered workers to beneficiaries from 4.0 in 1965 to 2.7 today, with 2.3 projected in two decades.
80 percent of federal spending growth since 1980 has gone to Social Security and health care (much of it for Medicare).