37% of Baby Boomers Have This Risky Belief About Social Security

Worried older woman looking at a window as it rains
Photo by SpeedKingz / Shutterstock.com

Counting too heavily on Social Security can be a recipe for financial disappointment during retirement. Yet, 37% of baby boomers expect the federal program to be their main source of income during their golden years.

The 20th annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers found that baby boomers (37%) are much more likely to say they expect Social Security to be their primary source of retirement income than those in Generation X (26%) or millennials (17%).

Expecting too much from Social Security can be a big mistake. The program was never intended to be the only source of income for retirees, the Social Security Administration notes.

And in fact, for higher-earning folks, it’s implausible to expect Social Security to replace much of their on-the-job income. Many experts project that retirees need about 70% of annual preretirement income to live well in retirement. But as the SSA notes:

“The amount of your average wages that Social Security retirement benefits replaces varies depending on your earnings and when you choose to start benefits. If you start benefits at ‘full retirement age’ … this percentage ranges from as much as 75 percent for very low earners, to about 40 percent for medium earners, to about 27 percent for high earners.”

The SSA says that if you start benefits after full retirement age, these percentages would be higher. By contrast, starting benefits earlier lowers these percentages.

Close to 60% of retirees claim Social Security before full retirement age, making their situation even more precarious.

Planning for retirement the right way

As you can see, counting on Social Security to carry too much of the retirement load is a risky bet. You’re far better off taking steps to generate savings today so you will have them to tap into tomorrow.

Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson points out that there is no single approach to retirement savings that will work for every person:

“Everyone’s different and so are their retirement solutions. The important thing is to step back, look at where you are today, think about what you want your retirement to look like and try your best to hit those savings goals. The sooner you start that process, the better.”

For more, check out Stacy’s article “Your Top 5 Retirement Questions, Answered.” In this piece, Stacy addresses five key questions we all need to answer before retiring:

  1. How much money do I need to retire?
  2. How should I invest before and after retirement?
  3. When should I start taking Social Security?
  4. Should I pay off my mortgage before retirement?
  5. What is an annuity and should I buy one?

Looking for more tips on building a healthy nest egg? Consider enrolling in Money Talks News’ retirement course. It’s a 14-week boot camp with everything you need to plan the rest of your life, know you’ll have enough money and make your retirement dreams a reality.

The course is intended for those who are 45 or older, but even younger folks can benefit from the wisdom to be gleaned from these lessons.

For more on the course, check out The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses
How to Avoid Being Surprised by 7 Nasty Expenses

Major expenses are difficult to predict, but there are ways to make sure you’re protected.

7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value
7 Surprising Features That Boost Your Home Value

You can add value to your home without hiring a contractor to do expensive renovations.

The Most Common Reason That Older Adults Fall Down
The Most Common Reason That Older Adults Fall Down

The good news: It’s possible to avoid potentially devastating falls.

9 Items Under $25 That Will Keep Your House Clean
9 Items Under $25 That Will Keep Your House Clean

We’ve rounded up some of the best products for cleaning your bathroom, kitchen and every other room.

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.