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Where Do Your Social Security Taxes Go?

By April 8, 2012

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If you work and earn income, you are probably aware of the Social Security taxes that come out of your paycheck. Social Security Taxes, otherwise known as FICA Tax (Federal Insurance Contributions Act) is paid by employees and employers to fund the Social Security and Medicare programs. Since a fairly large portion of your income goes towards this tax, it is important to understand where it actually goes, and what benefit it may provide to you.

Social Security

The bulk of your FICA Tax money goes into the Social Security program. To be exact, roughly 85 cents of each dollar goes toward Social Security. The money that current wage earners put into the program goes into various trust funds that pay the monthly benefits to current retirees, families, and surviving spouses and children of workers who have died. Costs associated with administering the plan come directly from the trusts.

The administration claims that for each Social Security tax dollar you pay, less than one cent goes toward administration costs.


The remainder of the FICA Tax money you pay, roughly 15 cents of each dollar, goes into the Medicare program. Like Social Security, the money paid by current wage earners goes into trust funds that pay for some hospital and medical care costs incurred by current Medicare beneficiaries.

Plan Ahead so You Don't Need to Rely Solely on Social Security

When you take a look at all of the money that you pay into Social Security to hopefully provide for old age retirement benefits and medical coverage, you better hope that you get every penny back and more. Well, if you still have some time yet until retirement, it is impossible to know what the future holds for these programs. The best thing you can do is to put some money aside for the future to supplement any benefits that you may receive. One way to do this is to open a Traditional IRA. Not only will you save some money on taxes right now, but you'll have a nice stash of money to supplement your government benefits.

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