Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 81, No. 3

(released August 2021)
by Patrick J. Purcell

This article uses data from the public-use files of the Census Bureau's American Community Survey for selected years 2005–2018 to examine the annual housing expenditures of households that include at least one person who received income from Social Security. In all years, the median percentage of income spent on housing was higher in households that included at least one Social Security beneficiary than in households with no beneficiaries. In households with at least one Social Security beneficiary, the median share of income spent on housing varied by tenure. In the period 2005–2018, the median shares rose from 31.7 percent to 32.5 percent for renter households, declined from 27.3 percent to 25.1 percent for homeowner households with a mortgage, and declined from 13.9 percent to 12.4 percent for homeowner households without a mortgage.

by Gayle L. Reznik, Kenneth A. Couch, Christopher R. Tamborini, and Howard M. Iams

Long-term increases in life expectancy have varied for individuals with different lifetime earnings levels. This article examines two hypothetical adjustments to Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance benefits that would offset the differential changes in projected life expectancy. The authors use the Modeling Income in the Near Term microsimulation model to analyze how the adjustments would affect benefits for beneficiaries across the lifetime earnings distribution.