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Young Investors More Worried than Seniors About Social Security, Retirement

Older investors have much more confidence in getting their Social Security than those under 50

gold nest eggSept. 24, 2014 - The latest quarterly survey by Wells Fargo/Gallup on investor confidence has uncovered a surprising focus on the importance of Social Security in the retirement plans of U.S. investors. Most think that with Social Security they will be able to maintain their desired lifestyle throughout retirement. But older investors are much more confident than younger ones in Social Security and their adequate retirement resources.

Taking their savings and Social Security income into consideration, a majority (69%) of the investors say they are “highly” or “somewhat” confident they will have enough money to maintain their desired lifestyle throughout their retirement years.

However, nearly half (46%) are “very” or “somewhat” worried about outliving their savings, including 50 percent of non-retirees and 36 percent of retirees. Retirees who run out of money could become entirely dependent on their Social Security checks.


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“Clearly Social Security plays a key role in thinking about retirement income, and concerns about the government’s ability to address the system’s financial problems exist for  both retirees and non-retirees,” said Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo.

The Wells Fargo/Gallup survey measures the perceptions of U.S. investors with $10,000 or more in investable assets

Six in 10 (58%) don’t think federal lawmakers will address the financial problems with Social Security in time to preserve the system for future retirees. 

Two-thirds of younger investors (67%), those under age 50, are especially pessimistic, saying lawmakers will not fix the system.

These same investors are also much more doubtful than older ones that they will ultimately receive their full or even slightly reduced benefits in retirement. 

A little more than a third (38%) of investors between the ages 18 to 49 believe they will get most or all of the benefits due to them under the current system,  compared to  71 percent of those between the ages 50 and 64, and 73 percent among those 65 and older.

Despite these divergent perceptions about whether Social Security will be there for them in retirement, non-retirees on average expect Social Security to account for 26 percent of their annual retirement income, while retirees, on average, report that it currently accounts for 30 percent of their retirement funding.


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