Chart of the Day: Social Security Is More Important Than Most People Think


EBRI’s annual Retirement Confidence Survey is out, and you can find it here if you want to read the whole thing. In a nutshell, retirement confidence dropped sharply in 2008 when the Great Recession started, and finally started to increase a bit this year for the first time since then. Nonetheless, the number of people who are confident they have enough to retire on is still around 55 percent, way below the 70 percent who felt this way during the 90s and aughts.

There are plenty of interesting facts and figures about retirement in the report, and I’ve excerpted an interesting pair of charts about worker expectations of Social Security below. These numbers have bounced around a bit over the years, but generally speaking, only about a third of active workers think Social Security will be a major part of their retirement. In reality, about two-thirds of actual retirees report that Social Security is a major part of their income. Keep that in mind the next time you hear someone blithely talking about cutting Social Security benefits, especially among low-income workers.

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