Chatham ranks high in Social Security benefits

Posted 7/3/20

Chatham County is ranked fourth in the state and 100th in the nation based on the average annual social security benefit, according to SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

SmartAsset — a …

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Chatham ranks high in Social Security benefits

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Chatham County is ranked fourth in the state and 100th in the nation based on the average annual social security benefit, according to SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

SmartAsset — a financial technology company that aims to provide personal finance advice — found that the average amount of social security for the county is $21,752. That ranks Chatham County fourth in high annual security for the state behind Brunswick, Transylvania and Union counties, respectively.

To find this data, SmartAsset looked at the average Social Security income for each county, then calculated the taxes a typical retiree would pay on that income based on state-specific Social Security tax rules. Taxes were then subtracted from that average Social Security income to determine the net income from Social Security. Results were then indexed. SmartAsset utilized resources such as the MIT Living Wage Calculator, U.S. Census Bureau 2018 American Community Survey and Kiplinger, as well as state government websites.

Representatives from the Social Security Atlanta Public Affairs Office, which includes North Carolina, said they cannot comment on non-SSA sources.

So why is this average so high? Income history and the age of county residents is the answer.

According to an article from The Motley Fool, these factors determine social security benefit:

• Work history: The SSA takes your 35 highest-earning, inflation-adjusted years into account when calculating your monthly benefit.

• Earnings history: The more you earn each year, the higher your eventual monthly entitlement.

• Birth year: The year you’re born determines your full retirement age.

• Claiming age: You can begin claiming benefits at age 62, however your payout will increase by up to 8% annually for every year you delay up until age 70.

Joyce Stout, 85, of Siler City retired from Glendale Hosiery Outlet Store in 1997. When discussing her Social Security benefits, she said she gets an annual amount “below” the $21,752.

Stout said she is not satisfied with the amount she receives.

“The price of everything is so high,” she said. “Bills to pay, groceries to buy and everything keeps going up. Social security does not. If anything, it goes up a dollar or two.”

News Intern Olivia Rojas can be reached at olivia@chathamnr.com or on Twitter at @oliviamrojas.

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