Americans overwhelmingly agree that Social Security is important, and many say it will be a key part of their retirement income. However, a whopping 74% say they are “somewhat concerned” or “very concerned” that the federal retirement program will not provide adequate income during their golden years, according to an AARP poll.
The poll of more than 1,400 adults found more than 90% support for the program among Democrats, Republicans and independents.
In addition, 39% of respondents said they either currently rely on or expect to rely on Social Security to provide a substantial source of income in retirement.
But worries about Social Security abound, with more than half of respondents — 57% — expressing doubts about the future of the program. The reasons for such worry include:
- No trust in the government to keep its promises: 29%
- Think the money is running out: 26%
- Politicians have taken money from Social Security in the past: 16%
Even if the program does survive — as many financial experts are confident it will — retirees still fret that Social Security income may not be enough to fund their golden years, with 74% expressing that doubt.
Overall, 65% say the average monthly Social Security benefit is too low, while 32% say it is about right and 3% say it is too high.
The Social Security Administration says the average monthly Social Security payout for retired workers was about $1,514 as of June.
How to get more out of Social Security
With three-quarters of Americans worrying about retirement income, it’s clear that getting every possible dime from Social Security is a top priority.
Deciding when to apply for Social Security benefits is likely to be among the most important retirement decisions you ever make. Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has tackled this subject more than a few times. For more, check out:
- “Should We Take Social Security at 62, 66 or 70?“
- “Should I Take Social Security Now and Invest It, or Wait Until I’m 70?“
Another way to calm your fears about future income is to enroll in Money Talks News’ retirement course, The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need. This 14-week boot camp is intended for those who are 45 or older. It maps everything you need to know about retiring, including Social Security “secrets.”
Finally, if you would like professional help, consider turning to Money Talks News partner Social Security Choices. It is one of a handful of companies that provides a personalized analysis of various claiming strategies.