Social security benefits won’t be enough for retirement, most believe

Relying on Social Security benefits for a comfortable retirement has never been a good plan, but most Americans today think they may not get anything at all.

Research from the Nationwide Retirement Institute has found an increase in the number of those aged 50 and over who think the Social Security system will run out of funding during their lifetime – 75% think so in 2023 compared to 66% in 2014.

Around one fifth of survey respondents indicated that they do not have any other retirement income and just 31% have a pension compared to 48% who did in 2014. But just 28% believe that Social Security on its own will provide enough income for a comfortable retirement.

However, over 50s are more likely to seek professional help to maximize and claim Social Security benefits than they were ten years ago.

The poll also found that younger Americans are already thinking about retirement and how they might need alternatives to Social Security benefits as 39% of Gen Z and 45% of Millennials believe they will not receive anything from the government in retirement.


Although concern about Social Security is high across age groups, knowledge is not.

Only 13% of respondents correctly identified the age they will be when they will receive the benefits, only 8% know how to maximize what they will receive, and more than half don’t know how much of their income will be replaced by the benefits.

“Nearly four out of five Americans say that the Social Security system needs to change, while at the same time our research shows that most people don’t understand how the current system works,” Ambrozy said, adding that there needs to be collaborative approach from retirement solution providers, policymakers, and financial professionals to address the knowledge gaps.

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