The vast majority of Americans fear Social Security may not be around by the time they retire, a new FindLaw.com survey reveals. Consequently, wise consumers will want to take a closer look at retirement planning.
Overall, just 31 percent of respondents say they believe Social Security will be paying benefits when they reach retirement age. But confidence in the system varies by age group: While 64 percent of adults 55 and older say they expect to collect Social Security, just 11 percent of adults under 25 expect the same.
But even if Social Security remains intact, the reality is that the system likely won't provide enough for retirees to live comfortably. That's why it makes sense for consumers to take an active approach to retirement planning.
Consider, for example, that the average Social Security payment is just $1,162 per month, according to The Associated Press. The upcoming annual cost-of-living adjustment, expected to be just 1.5 percent, will be among the smallest in history.
To help consumers prepare for retirement (and for changes to the Social Security system), FindLaw.com offers some helpful resources, including:
- A Q&A on the future of Social Security. What should you expect if you're already collecting Social Security benefits? What about those who've just entered the workforce? Our "Learn About the Law" article offers a concise overview of Social Security's problems and a few options for reform.
- A retirement planning homepage and legal planning newsletter. Social Security is just one part of an individual's retirement strategy. Consumers should also learn more about elder care options, their employer's retirement plan, and general estate planning tools. Our new page on Legal Planning for Retirees is a one-stop shop where consumers can learn more about these topics. You can also sign up to receive our free legal planning newsletter.
- An online directory of experienced attorneys. Because retirement planning can get complicated, it may be best to seek professional help in figuring out the best investment and estate-planning strategies for your specific situation. Our online directory links you to experienced tax lawyers and estate planning lawyers near you.
It's never too early to think about how you're going to support yourself during your golden years. To learn more, check out FindLaw's section on Social Security and Retirement Planning.
-- Michelle Croteau, Director of Marketing Communications,
with Andrew Chow, FindLaw Audience Team