Working Americans' Expected Reliance on Social Security Is Tied for a 15-Year High

If the present snapshot of Social Security is in any way indicative of the future, working Americans today are likely to lean on Social Security in some capacity during retirement.

According to the April 2018 snapshot from the Social Security Administration, 62.3 million people were receiving a benefits check each month, and nearly 43 million of these folks were retired workers. Of these retirees, 62% are dependent on the program to account for at least half of their monthly income, while just a hair over a third (34%) are essentially leaning on Social Security for the whole shebang (90%-100% of monthly income). Even though the average retired worker is only taking home $1,411 a month, this is enough to keep more than 15 million retired workers above the federal poverty level, based on an analysis conducted by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

It's pretty evident how important Social Security has been to past generations of retirees and the current class of beneficiaries. The big question is: What should be expected of today's working Americans when they hit retirement age?

How reliant will working Americans be on Social Security?

To answer this question, we'll turn to the latest survey results from national pollster Gallup. Each year since 2001, Gallup has surveyed nonretirees about their expected reliance on Social Security by asking them one question:

"When you retire, how much do you expect to rely on Social Security -- will it be a major source of income, a minor source of income or not a source of income at all?"

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