Social Security may be America's favorite octogenarian.
Two out of 3 Americans view Social Security, which turned 80 years old Friday, as one of the most important government programs, according to a new AARP survey. That view has remained consistent in AARP polling since 1995. And 82 percent of Americans said it is important to contribute to Social Security for the common good.
Most retirees depend on Social Security for part of their income. Overall, Social Security retirement benefits represent about 38 percent of the income for seniors, but more than half of married couples claiming benefits and nearly 3 out of 4 unmarried retirees depend on the program for 50 percent or more of their income, according to the Social Security Administration.
The agency sent checks to more than 39.6 million retired workers in June with an average monthly benefit of $1,335. Last year, more than 59 million Americans received $863 billion in Social Security benefits, which includes disability benefits.