Less than one-third of Americans (31 percent) think that Social Security will still be paying benefits by the time they retire, according to a survey by FindLaw.com.
"Not surprisingly," FindLaw.com reports, "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."
The opinions divide into thirds about whether Social Security will be around at retirement. Yes, 31 percent think it will be, but 30 percent think it won't and 39 percent are not sure.
"People who are currently retired say they rely on their Social Security checks," FindLaw.com says. "The majority of retirees surveyed (56 percent) say Social Security accounts for more than half of their retirement income. In fact, 36 percent of retirees say their Social Security check makes up more than 75 percent of their retirement income or is their sole source of retirement income."
Michael K. Stanley at LifeHealthPro wrote about the study: "The country has been receiving fuzzy facts about the solvency of the Social Security program, and though most indicate that it is in some type of distress, the severity is inconclusive. After repeated talking points about administrations using it as a 'credit card' and President George W. Bush's attempt to privatize the program, it is not surprising that many Americans view it skeptically."
Over at Investment News, Mary Beth Franklin placed more of the lack of confidence on the federal government shutdown: "Can you blame (the public)? The political antics in Washington — and I live in the midst of the circus — doesn't inspire faith in our government. When I logged onto the Social Security Administration website this week, the first thing I saw on the home page was a notice about 'important information about the federal government shutdown.' … You can see what such shenanigans wreak havoc with public confidence."
According to Robert Kuttner at the Huffington Post, billionaire Stan Druckenmiller is trying to create a movement among college students against Social Security. The idea is that seniors are stealing from the young. Similar discussion could also make people nervous.
Meanwhile, according to CNNMoney, seniors will get a small increase in Social Security in 2014: "Social Security benefits are expected to rise between 1.4 percent and 1.6 percent next year, according to the American Institute for Economic Research. That follows a 1.7 percent increase in 2013 and no increases in 2010 and 2011. A 3.6 percent adjustment in 2012 has been the only significant rise in benefits in recent years."