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Viewing Social Security as an “insurance” program is important

It’s a question that comes up often. In fact, here at the AMAC Foundation Social Security Advisory Service, we field it regularly. Basically, it’s phrased in terms like, “When I die, what happens to the difference between what I paid into the program and what I got out?” We’ve researched this general question (it’s discussed in some detail in our recent publication “Ask Rusty: What’s So Hard About Social Security”?), and can report that workers on average will receive benefits roughly equal to what they paid in within three to five years of when they start drawing benefits (self-employed workers take a little bit longer). Nevertheless, there are some who don’t quite recover the amount paid in, and that’s a statistical fact.

In an article by Russell Settle, co-founder of, the issue of Social Security’s role as an insurance program rather than a savings account is discussed in detail. Read his adrticle, posted on, here…

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