trendspotting | PLANADVISER July/August 2017

Counting on Social Security

Even Americans younger than 30 expect it will still exist

By Lee Barney | July/August 2017

While 43% of Americans between ages 50 and 64 plan on Social Security being there for them in retirement, the same can be said for 25% of those 18 through 29. By comparison, only 13% of 18- through 29-year-olds said this in 2007.

The growing projected reliance on Social Security among young people is somewhat surprising, given that, over the past 16 years, they have been less likely than older Americans to make that projection, according to a Gallup poll. Previous Gallup surveys have shown that nearly two-thirds of people under 50 are skeptical that they will receive a Social Security benefit when they retire.

Despite recent stock market gains, 48% of non-retiree respondents said they will rely on their 401(k) savings for a majority of their retirement income, below the 53% who said so in 2003. Following the 2008 recession, the percentage dipped, in 2011, to a low of 44%.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans of all ages who expect to rely on Social Security as a major source of their retirement income has continued to increase, from 28% in 2003 to 33% this year.