Investors’ Social Security Dreams May Be Shattered by Deficit Troubles

A majority of investors feel they will be affected by changes made to Social Security or Medicare programs to reduce the federal budget deficit, reveals a recent Gallup poll.

At 57% of all investors, both retired and not retired, changes to these two programs ranked highest, tied with gas prices, as issues that could have a “major impact” on personal economic condition and future financial situation.

The percentage of retirees who felt this way, at 61%, only slightly outweighed the number of non-retirees, at 56%.

As a result, nearly twice as many non-retirees plan to rely less on Social Security, with 64% looking to a 401(k) account or IRA, compared to just 33% of those who have already retired.

In contrast, the number of retirees who expect to rely on Social Security, at 52%, is double the number of non-retirees who plan on relying on it, at 26%.

Healthcare was also a major concern for investors, as 61% of retirees think they’d be affected by healthcare costs, compared to 51% of non-retirees.

Move than two thirds of non-retired investors say healthcare costs will affect their financial ability to retire, at 68%, says Gallup, with 60% saying investment market conditions are a major factor that will determine when they are financially able to retire; this probably reflects non-retired investors’ planned reliance on their own resources to fund their retirement.


Overall, investors are significantly more disillusioned by the state of the U.S. economy, with a largely negative view of its future direction. Investor optimism among retirees plunged to negative 60 in September, down 121 points from +61 in May. Non-retirees also saw a decline in optimism at negative 41, down from +24 in May.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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