Most Americans say they can’t count on Social Security in retirement

An Allianz Life study shows a majority of U.S. residents believe they cannot count on the late-life benefit program

In addition to general concern about retirement security, a majority of Americans (74%) say they can’t count on Social Security benefits when they reach later life, an Allianz Life study shows.

In addition, 88% of Americans say an additional source of retirement income is critical” to living comfortably in old age and maintaining their desired lifestyle.

“Social Security benefits are often the backbone of a retirement strategy but it cannot be your entire strategy,” said Kelly LaVigne, VP of consumer insights at Allianz Life. “A strong retirement strategy will ensure you have enough guaranteed income to cover your essential expenses. That guaranteed income can come from Social Security benefits along with other investments and protection products such as annuities.”

While most people surveyed say they are cautious about increasing their investment activity, 57% say they are not worried about an imminent economic recession. However, 41% of respondents say they are concerned about the possibility of being laid off of their job within the next year due to an economic downturn.

The survey results also point to persistent anxiety regarding future financial health.

“For example, 78% worry that they might not be able to afford the lifestyle they want in retirement due to the increased cost of living,” the results state. “This is up from 73% last quarter and 68% in 1Q 2022. Meanwhile, 66% worry that if they don’t increase their retirement savings soon, it will be too late to have a comfortable retirement.”

In particular, Generation X — the generation born between the early 1960s and the early 1980s — remain concerned about their long-term financial stability. According to the study data, 43% of Gen X are concerned that their employers will suspend their 401K matching policy, while 67% say they are keeping more money out of the market than they should.

The survey was conducted online in March 2023 with a “nationally-representative sample” of 1,005 respondents at or over the age of 18, according to Allianz Life.

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