Wait Till 70 for Social Security? No Way, Say Most Americans: Survey

The Schroders U.S. Retirement survey was conducted by 8 Acre Perspective among 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 45-75 from Jan. 20-27. Accordingly, the age groups and gender of those surveyed were evenly split; 230 of the working respondents had defined contribution plans.

The study also had some findings that should help advisors understand retirement hurdles that they will have when dealing with clients.

For 52% of non-retired Americans and 58% of those retired, Social Security will be the primary source of income in retirement. However, 64% of those not retired and 62% of those retired say the benefits won’t be enough to live on.

Although 74% stated concerns about how to generate income or draw down their assets in retirement, many have addition sources of income including:

  • Cash savings: 58%
  • Investment income: 48%
  • Pension plan: 40%
  • Annuities: 19%
  • Rental income: 12%

Fifty percent of retirees say they don’t have any strategies to generate income, instead saying “I just take money when I need it.” However, income-producing strategies included:

  • Systematic withdrawals from a defined contribution plan or IRA: 28%
  • Dividend-producing stocks or mutual funds: 19%
  • Annuities: 13%
  • CDs: 11%
  • Individual bonds or bond mutual funds: 9%
  • Managed payout funds: 9%

Seven in 10 of non-retired respondents stated they wished they were more knowledgeable about Social Security. However, the study notes that most — 74% of non-retired respondents and 84% of non-retirees between 60 and 67 — understood they would get more in Social Security if they waited until age 70. Advisors would do well to be educated on, and educate their clients on, Social Security benefits in addition to individual portfolios.

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