Predetermined Amount of Income: The amount of your Social Security benefit becomes better-defined as you approach retirement age. It is based on your earnings history as it is applied to a formula. While the amount may vary depending on when you apply for benefits, the relative accuracy of the estimate makes it easier for you to incorporate it into the rest of your retirement planning.
Lifetime Income: Social Security is one of the few sources of income that you can be assured of never outliving. This helps you address the uncertainty of longevity.
Inflation-Adjusted Income: Your benefits are increased each year based on the previous year's increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This helps you keep up with the cost of living.
Spousal Benefits: Benefits may be paid to a spouse during your liftime. This helps monetize the economic value of your spouse's contribution to the family outside of employment.
Survivor Benefits: Benefits continue to be paid to surviving spouse and dependents at your death. This helps ensure your plans remain in place, even after you are gone.
Social Security is essentially a 100% joint and survivor lifetime annuity with cost of living adjustments and a spousal benefit during the life of the covered worker — an attractive component to any retirement income plan.