Social Security: You can't get these returns today
The first person to get a monthly retirement check from Social Security certainly got her money's worth. Ida May Fuller, a retired legal secretary from Ludlow, Vt., received her first monthly check in January 1940. She was 65 years old and lived to be 100. She had paid Social Security taxes for three years.
Social Security taxes paid by Fuller during her career: $24.75.
Fuller's first monthly benefit check: $22.54.
Fuller's lifetime benefits: $22,888.92.
Source: Social Security Administration.
Social Security: http://www.ssa.gov/history/briefhistory3.html