As we saw in Chapter 3, if you work you pay Social Security tax. Paying this tax entitles you to receive benefits when you retire. You can work on and off, but you need at least ten years under your belt to get any benefits. How much you get will be based on your average earnings over thirty-five years. Say you average $60,000 of income a year over that period; then you can expect to receive a yearly benefit of about $26,000. If you’re married, your spouse gets at least another $13,000 even if they didn’t work at all. Also, Social Security benefits are at least partially tax-free, so they go a bit further than regular earnings.