Most of us have general worries about money. But if you are a baby boomer, two specific financial fears are especially likely to dominate your thoughts about retirement.
Boomers fret a lot about potentially outliving their savings and investments, with 45% naming this as their greatest retirement fear, according to the 20th annual Transamerica Retirement Survey of Workers.
But a slightly higher share — 46% — say their chief worry is that Social Security will be reduced or simply cease to exist.
Other fears that at least one-quarter of boomer respondents cited as their top retirement worry include:
- Declining health that requires long-term care (41%)
- Possible long-term care costs (34%)
- Lack of access to adequate and affordable health care (31%)
- Cognitive decline/dementia/Alzheimer’s disease (28%)
- Not being able to meet the family’s basic financial needs (25%)
It’s little wonder that baby boomers are so anxious about the future of Social Security. As we recently reported, 37% of the boomers Transamerica surveyed expect Social Security to provide their main source of income.
That expectation may be unwise. The program was never designed to be a primary source of income. As we noted in our story, the Social Security Administration estimates that Social Security replaces just 40% of wages for “medium” earners and 27% of wages for “high” earners.
How to end your fears about Social Security
Relying too much on Social Security puts you at the mercy of the federal government, which is rarely a reassuring prospect. And even if the government comes through for you, trying to scrape by on Social Security is no way to live.
The best way to strengthen your finances — and reduce your fears about the future of Social Security — is to take control of your destiny. One great way to do that is to enroll in Money Talks News’ retirement course, The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need.
This 14-week boot camp is intended for those who are 45 or older. It maps everything you need to know about retiring, including Social Security “secrets” and how to invest in a manner that will make your golden years gleam.
Educating yourself about Social Security is another way to reduce your fears. After all, knowledge is power. So, start your schooling by reading:
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