October 10, 2013

Few Americans Believe They'll Receive Social Security, Says New FindLaw.com Survey

Only 31 percent of Americans expect to get Social Security checks when they retire

EAGAN, Minn. – Only 31 percent of American adults believe that Social Security will still be around when they retire, according to a new survey from FindLaw.com, the most popular legal information website.

The vast majority of Americans are less than confident that they’ll ever see Social Security checks. Americans are fairly split in theiropinions, with roughly equal percentages believing they likely will or will not receive Social Security when they retire. The largest percentage – about 39 percent – say they’re not sure.

Do you think Social Security will still be paying benefits when you retire?

  • Yes 31%
  • No 30%
  • Not sure 39%

Not surprisingly, faith in Social Security rises as people get older. Among people between the ages of 18 and 24, only 11 percent expect Social Security to still be around when they retire, But even among middle-aged people, less than one-third expect to receive Social Security checks.

  • 18-24 yrs. old 11%
  • 25-34 yrs. old 18%
  • 35-44 yrs. old 24%
  • 45-54 yrs. old 29%
  • 55+ yrs. old   64%

People who are currently retired say that they rely on their Social Security checks. The majority of retirees surveyed (56%) say that Social Security accounts more than half of their retirement income. In fact, 36 percent of retirees say that their Social Security check makes up more than 75 percent of their retirement income or is their sole source of retirement income.

“Our survey found that people have concerns about the future solvency of the Social Security system,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor with FindLaw.com. “But 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. As far as retirement planning is concerned, attorneys specializing in estate planning and/or tax laws may be very helpful in finding the right investment and estate planning vehicles to create and preserve assets for one's golden years.”

Free information on Social Security benefits and other retirement planning information can be found at resources such as FindLaw’s Social Security and Retirement Planning section, (http://socialsecurity.findlaw.com/).

The FindLaw.com survey was conducted using a demographicallybalanced survey of 1,000 American adults, and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.

Note to editors: Full survey results and analysis are available upon request.

FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of business development solutions for small law firms. Through its team of legal marketing experts, FindLaw drives the industry by delivering a comprehensive portfolio of proven online and offline marketing solutions designed to connect law firms with targeted prospective clients. FindLaw is also home to the largest online directory of lawyers and FindLaw.com (www.FindLaw.com), the most popular legal website with more than six million people visiting each month for free information about a legal topic, to solve a legal problem or to find a lawyer.

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