Just 31 percent of American adults believe that Social Security system will be around when they retire.
This finding, uncovered in a survey conducted by legal information website FindLaw.com, illustrates a gigantic opportunity for the financial services industry as many individuals will be looking to replace their Social Security benefits with annuities in order to have a financially stable retirement.
The country has been receiving fuzzy facts about the solvency of the Social Security program and though most indicate that it is in some type of distress, the severity is inconclusive. After repeated talking points about administrations using it as a “credit card” and President George W Bush’s attempt to privatize the program, it is not surprising that many Americans view it skeptically.
FindLaw.com’s survey found that although Americans are dubious that they will ever see the benefits from the system they have been paying in to, they are relatively split in their opinions, with the largest segment reporting that they “are not sure” whether they will receive payments. Thirty-nine percent of respondents reported that they were not sure while 31 percent thought they would receive benefits and 30 percent thought that they would not.
Unsurprisingly, faith in receiving one’s Social Security rises as people get older. Only 11 percent of people between 18 and 24 expect that the system will be solvent by the time they retire. Among middle-aged people, less than one-third expect to get any checks.
The results of the survey are rather striking when current retirees' reliance on Social Security is considered. Fifty-six percent of retirees surveyed reported that Social Security payments account for over half of their retirement income. Thirty-six percent of retirees reported that Social Security makes up more than 75 percent of their retirement income.
“Regardless of what the future holds, the reality is that Social Security doesn’t always provide enough income for most people to live comfortably in retirement. Fortunately, there are a number of other ways to save money,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor with FindLaw.com