Advantages of a Long and Healthy Life

January 6, 2009

By John Newcomer:

Healthy old peopleIf you’re among the many worried about how Social Security will survive, with the onslaught of some 80 million baby boomers about to enter retirement, take a moment to step back in time with us.

Ida May Fuller was the first person to receive a Social Security payment. She was born on September 6, 1874 on a farm outside of Ludlow, Vermont. She was known as Aunt Ida to her friends and family. Ida May never married and had no children. She worked as a school teacher and as a legal secretary in Vermont.

Ida May Fuller retired in 1939 at the age of 65. By then she had worked under Social Security a little under three years paying a total of $24.75 into the system.

Social Security checkOn November 4, 1939 she filed for benefits, and on January 31, 1940 Social Security check number 00-000-001 was issued to Ida May Fuller in the amount of $22.54.

She received monthly benefit checks until her death in 1975 at age 100. By then she had received $22,888.92 from Social Security.  It pays to grow old and live a long, healthy life… at least it used to.