This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Too Many Retirees Clueless on Social Security

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- You'd think retirees, especially cash-strapped baby boomers, would have a plan on how to claim Social Security benefits.

But you'd be wrong.

Says who? Says Securian Financial Group, a St. Paul, Minn., investment advisory firm.

Securian just released a survey showing less than 20% of boomers have a good idea on how they want to handle their Social Security payouts.

Securian's survey focused on 804 consumers, aged 50-65, "to learn the extent of Social Security's role in boomers' retirement income planning."

The inescapable conclusion: Americans nearing retirement don't have a clue how and when they'll start claiming Social Security benefits.

"Our survey found that only 18% of baby boomers are making decisions now about how they'll claim Social Security," says Michelle Hall, a market research manager with the firm. "But their focus on Social Security may be rising, because half of that 18% tweaked their plans within the last three years."

Securian focuses largely on those 18% of respondents who do have a retirement plan linked to Social Security. About 50% of those respondents started working on their Social Security claims between ages 60 and 65. Another 40% say they have started working on their payout plan between ages 50 and 55.

Of those boomers who are developing a Social Security plan, nothing is hard and fast. These near-retirees are changing their strategies on the fly:

  • 59% of the "planners" cited by Securian say they will change the age at which they retire.
  • 48% will change the age at which they begin claiming Social Security benefits.
  • 14% say they are making changes in the way their spouses will collect Social Security.

The study adds an interesting, but slightly disturbing element: 17% of respondents who don't have a plan for Social Security believe they have a logical reason for it: They don't think they'll collect a dime in Social Security benefits, despite decades of paying payroll taxes.

On the other side of the coin, 53% of so-called "non-planners" say Social Security will make up more than 40% of their total retirement income.

It's a disjointed story, with an alarming number of older Americans without a plan for Social Security and more than a few who don't think they'll get any Social Security benefits at all.

"The number of boomers who expect to receive no Social Security benefits or aren't sure how much they'll receive reflects the group's insecurity about financial security in retirement," Hall says.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 18,098.15 +67.94 0.38%
S&P 500 2,089.11 +7.23 0.35%
NASDAQ 4,793.2090 +19.7370 0.41%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs