How Social Security Began

January 08, 2015

The Social Security Act was signed into law Aug 14, 1935.  It was created due to the fact that more than half of the elderly in the 1930’s (during The Great Depression) were living below the poverty level.   

During this time:

1.       Unemployment rate was very high.

2.       The stock market had crashed.

3.       Most of the elderly were living in dependency

4.       The GNP was reduced significantly.

The U.S. was in need of changes and quickly.  Some thought that seizing the wealth of the rich and redistributing it to the elderly and jobless was a solution.  Some thought that relying on state-run welfare programs would be the answer until the economy was better was the answer.

President Roosevelt’s social insurance system was a middle of the road answer to appease both sides of the coin.  He wanted it to be self-financing to avoid money coming out of the Treasury and further complicating the process. 

The first monthly check was issued to a retired legal secretary named Ida May Fuller (It’s was $22.54).  She collected around $22,000 in benefits until her death in 1975.

While the system is changing and reform is constantly being discussed, this solution has in the past and will going forward be a large percentage of the retired communities income stream.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


Brandon M. Smith, LPL Investment Advisor Representative
            Lifetime Planning, Inc.
            Securities offered through LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC