Worrying about Social Security doesn’t help anyone but being aware of the challenges facing the system and preparing for change is always the best course
Worrying about Social Security doesn’t help anyone but being aware of the challenges facing the system and preparing for change is always the best course.
Not surprisingly, pre-retirement adults age 50-64 are the largest group of American adults worried about the Social Security system: 51% expressed worry to pollsters.
It’s a different view from another generation, as reported in Think Advisor’sarticle, “Older Pre-Retirees Worry a Lot About Social Security: Gallup.”Just a third of young adults, expressed a great deal of concern about the system.
Gallup conducted telephone interviews in March with a sample of about 1,000 adults living in all 50 states and DC. The data showed that 44% of Americans worry a “great deal” about Social Security, 28% worry a “fair amount,” 17% “only a little” and 10% “not at all.” Social Security ranked in the middle of a list of 15 issues or social problems the respondents were asked to rate in the poll. The survey participants said they were most worried about the availability and affordability of health care.
Gallup says the percentage of older pre-retirees in the survey who worried a great deal about the Social Security system had decreased from the 59% record highs recorded in the three-year rolling averages for 2009 to 2011 and 2011 to 2013.
Younger adults in the survey also recorded slightly lower averages than in recent years, and 11 percentage points lower from 2007. Concern about Social Security has also subsided with retirement-aged Americans. Roughly 46% express a great deal of worry—down from an average of 56% for 2010 to 2012.
For respondents in the 30-to-49 age bracket, the percentage expressing a lot of concern about Social Security has remained steady in the range of 46% to 52% since 2005, according to Gallup. In the current poll, 49% said they worried a great deal.
It’s no surprise that majorities of Americans with annual incomes of $30,000 or less have consistently reported a great deal of concern about the Social Security system since 2005. That peaked at 62% as the average for 2009 to 2011. The current 53% who worried a great deal is about the same as the low recorded in the 2007 to 2009 average.
Worries among higher-earning groups have remained steady, with a range of 47% to 53% between 2005 and 2018 for respondents with annual household incomes between $30,000 and $74,999, and 40% to 44% for those with annual incomes of $75,000 or more.
The Gallup report said that no politician wants to get involved with the heavy lifting needed to fix Social Security to ensure that it can continue to operate. Previous administrations certainly didn’t get anywhere. But at some point, this will have to be addressed, and at that time, it’s likely that Americans will begin worrying again.
Reference: Think Advisor (April 9, 2018) “Older Pre-Retirees Worry a Lot About Social Security: Gallup”