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Americans nearing retirement worry most about social security

Staff Writer |
A slight majority of pre-retirement aged Americans, 51%, say they are worried a "great deal" about the Social Security system.

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This level of concern among adults aged 50 to 64 represents the greatest worry about the benefits program of all age groups. One-third of young adults, aged 18 through 29, worry a great deal about the Social Security system.

The percentage of 50- to 64-year-olds who are worried a great deal about the Social Security system is smaller than the high of 59% recordedin three-year rolling averages for 2009 to 2011 and 2011 to 2013.

The current 33% of 18- to 29-year-olds worried about Social Security is slightly lower than averages in recent years, and down a more significant 11 percentage points from 2007.

Less than half of adults who are at the retirement age of 65 or older (46%) say they worry a great deal about Social Security.

By contrast, majorities of adults in this age group were concerned about the program during the immediate post-recession years, peaking at 56% in the average for 2010 to 2012.

Worry among retirement-aged adults has gradually declined since, though, with the current level of worry at its lowest since the average for 2006 to 2008.

Meanwhile, worries about Social Security among adults aged 30 to 49 have varied the least; the current 49% who worry a great deal among this age group is within the fairly narrow range of 46% to 52% averages recorded since 2005.

This year's data, recorded in a March 1-8 Gallup poll, found that 44% of Americans worry a "great deal," and 28% say they worry a "fair amount," while about one in four worry "only a little" (17%) or "not at all" (10%).

The current 44% who worry a great deal is slightly lower than the 45% to 53% range recorded since 2005.

This comes as Social Security recipients will receive the largest cost of living adjustment in six years - though for many, these increases will be offset by higher Medicare premiums.

Social Security is one of 15 issues or social problems Gallup asked Americans to rate their worry on in the March poll. It ranks near the middle of the list. Americans remain most worried about the availability and affordability of healthcare.

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