Americans Losing Faith in Government’s Ability to Resolve Social Security Dilemma? - USAToday; Motley Fool

The Nationwide Retirement Institute 2023 Social Security Survey results indicate a continuing disbelief that government will “do the right” thing to shore up our ailing Social Security system in time to prevent an erosion of retirement security. Specifically, while survey respondents express an increasing amount of concern over the program running out of funding, and while almost 8 in 10 recognize the need for system changes, less than half expressed confidence that the legislative process will yield corrective action in time to avoid benefit cuts.

As the calendar pages continue to turn toward a solvency crisis now less than a decade away, the statistical dichotomy indicated in the Nationwide survey underscores the growing level of concern in the minds of current and future retirees. The absence of interest in addressing the long-known funding problems facing Social Security is somewhat astounding, given the potential magnitude of the impact on the retirement well-being of a major segment of the population. And even more telling is Social Security’s absence–so far, at least–in the early positions expressed in the 2024 presidential candidate platforms.

Time will tell, of course, but most who follow this situation know that the longer it takes to achieve a resolution, the more traumatic the “fixes” will need to be. Considering the future, keep in mind that the 118th Congress, like many of the preceding congressional sessions, continues to see proposals to reform Social Security in the face of the insolvency dilemma.

By the way, the issue of losing faith in government wasn’t the only surprising result of the 2023 Nationwide survey. The Motley Fool’s Keith Speights, in a post on USAToday, recaps several major indications that a pretty wide swath of the public does not have a robust grasp on the details of how our country’s Social Security program works. From not fully understanding the income stream to a lack of awareness of Social Security’s partial inflation protection, he explains how misconceptions can influence perspectives on the program. In fact, the survey results report that “Only 13% of adults correctly guess their FRA based on their year of birth.”

Read Speights’ post here and, for more details on the Nationwide study, click here.

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