Most Americans watch their money go into the Social Security trust fund in the form of payroll deductions as soon as they begin working, when retirement seems a long way off. As a result, many go through their working lives without giving it much thought.
Here are a few facts everyone should know about Social Security benefits before making any decisions about retirement.
For most people, Social Security is one component of retirement income -- one leg of the so-called three-legged stool.
Pensions are another component, but these days few workers get a pension. The last leg would be personal savings, whether in a 401(k) plan, IRA, an investment account or savings account.
Copyright 2011, Bankrate Inc.