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I hope you do understand that when Social Security was enacted in 1935, life expectancy was 61.7.

It's an irrelevant statistic, because it includes the then large number of child and infant deaths, which are entirely immaterial in the calculation of Social Security. (They never pay in, they never take out. They simply do not exist in the system.)

Below is linked a chart showing life expectancy at certain ages. Using Age 20 as a base (since that's when people tend to begin contributing), we find that the average man will live around another 48 years, the average woman, another 51 years. Therefore, the average person will live long enough to collect something for at least a few years.

Taking it a step further, we find that some people die before they ever reach the age 65, of course, so looking further up the scale we see that those who survive to age 50 (for example), men will live an additional 20 years, and women will live an additional (almost) 25 years.

Most people collected Social Security.

I have read, but could not verify that less than 10% of US workers lived long enough to collect.

Abjectly false.

The stats are from this chart:

I've used the era 1939-1941, since that is the closest segment to the payments from Social Security in 1937, and I've used "white" men and women, since they formed the overwhelming majority of compensated workers in that era.
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