If you're one of the many teenagers or young adults planning to get a summer job or start a career this summer, you may be surprised to see what's deducted from your paycheck. If you don't know already, it's time to learn about your Social Security taxes.
By law, employers must withhold from a worker's paycheck Social Security taxes. While usually referred to on an employee's pay statement as "Social Security taxes," sometimes the deduction is labeled as "FICA taxes" which stands for Federal Insurance Contributions Act.
The taxes you pay now translate to a lifetime of protection for retirement in old age or in the event of disability. And when you die, your family (or future family) may be able to receive survivors benefits based on your work as well. Right now you probably have family members - grandparents, for example - who already are enjoying Social Security benefits that your Social Security taxes help provide.
Because you're a long way from retirement, you may have a tough time seeing the value of benefit payments that could be many decades in the future. Studies show that of today's 20-year-olds, about one in four become disabled and about one in eight die before retirement.