Americans have real concerns about being able to make ends meet with Social Security retirement income, even as many admit they have not done much financial planning for retirement, a new survey by AARP shows.
Ninety percent of people age 50 and older who get Social Security retirement benefits now or will in the future say they are worried that their retirement benefits may not keep up with inflation. Among future beneficiaries, 40% worry a lot and 32% worry somewhat, according to the national poll. As for current beneficiaries, 34% say they worry a lot and 27% say they worry somewhat.
Despite these concerns, analyzing Social Security retirement benefits is not a high priority on most older Americans' financial to-do list. Less than half of those surveyed (47%) estimated their future Social Security retirement benefits annually while 45% took the time in the last three years to review their earnings history on the Social Security Administration’s website. Instead, respondents were more likely to check the balance of their savings (80%), loans (68%), and investment accounts (61%).
Although mapping out finances could ease worry while spurring any needed action, just 54% of Americans age 50-plus report having completed their retirement planning. Another 28% haven’t planned for retirement living despite wanting to do so or knowing they should. Older adults don't plan because it seems to bring up unpleasant feelings: 7% never seem to get around to it; 7% say it’s too stressful; 6% say it’s depressing, 4% are overwhelmed by information, and 4% don’t know where to start planning.
The research is based on a survey of 1,041 adults over age 50, including 469 currently receiving Social Security benefits and 457 who anticipate being future beneficiaries. It was conducted in August 2022.
Williams, Alicia R. 50-Plus Are Concerned About the Impact of Inflation on Social Security Retirement Benefits. Washington, DC: AARP Research, October 2022. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00577.001
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