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My parents are 53. They both work, but do not have a huge amount of savings. As the most money-savvy child, I think it will be my responsibility to take care of them in the future. My dad has a small IRA, and my mom has a small 401K. I know I'll need to talk to them, see how much they'll need in retirement, see how much they have, and so on. I think I'll need to see if they can save more.

However, to start, I'm curious as to how much they can get from Social Security. I'm under the impression that there's a set amount that you need to contribute over your lifetime. Then, your payments depend on whether you start receiving the benefit at 62, or 65, or whatever. Is that right?

My dad has worked for over 30 years. Most of that time, he's been self-employed, so he's paid the 15.3% S-E tax. That should definitely cover him, right? My mom has worked for maybe 10 years (non-consecutively), some part time and some full time. She probably hasn't paid the full amount. Are things taken jointly?

Is there some government web page that has this information?

Thanks so much!

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