Social Security Realities for Middle-Class Retirees 

The average monthly Social Security benefit check is roughly $1,706.98 and is based on a combination of retirement age and lifetime earnings.

A middle-class retiree with a $74,580 income could expect around $1,867 monthly at 65 and 11 months, slightly above the general average.

Waiting to retire later can increase benefits significantly; retiring at 70 could yield $2,696 monthly.

Since the 2008 recession, fewer Americans have identified as middle class; in 2022, 52% of Americans thought they were middle class.

The West saw the most substantial shift in middle-class identification, dropping from 65% to 52% between 2002-2022.

Relying solely on Social Security might be insufficient; it typically replaces only 40% of pre-retirement income, while retirees need around 70–80%.

Expenses like rent, which averages $1,702, Medicare costs, and weekly groceries exceed the average middle-class Social Security check. 

In addition to basic expenses, Social Security does not pay for extra costs like entertainment, clothing, transportation, and travel.

A monthly Social Security check helps with bills, but additional income sources are necessary for a comfortable retirement lifestyle.