Banking on Social Security

Ten years after the financial crisis and recession, middle-income Boomers are increasingly reliant on Social Security for their retirement income, according to a new study that details the mindset of current and soon-to-be retirees.

 The Financial Crisis Strikes Boomers

The proportion of middle-income Boomers who expect to rely on Social Security for their primary source of retirement income has risen from less than one in three (30%) before the financial crisis that began in 2007 to four in 10 (38%) today, according to the study, “10 Years After the Crisis: Middle-Income Boomers Rebounding But Not Recovered,” commissioned by Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement (CSR).

Not surprisingly, then, fewer middle-income Boomers – just over three in 10 (34%) – plan to rely on personal savings or earnings (retirement accounts, general savings and investments, and employment) for their primary source of retirement income, compared to about four in 10 (43%) before the crisis.

 Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, too many people are unaware that Social Security was designed to be a safety net, not a primary replacement for savings or income. The best way to reduce reliance on Social Security for retirement income, middle-income Boomer or otherwise, is to develop multiple streams of income during your working years and ensure your retirement plan will generate multiple streams of income once you leave the workforce.

You can read the entire report online here.


Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. When I lived in NYC more than 15 years ago I was amazed at how many older folks (mainly widows) waited by the mailbox in our apartment building for their checks to be delivered on the first of the month. They were counting on that money to live. At least those folks, who were of my parents’ generation, generally speaking didn’t have as much debt as my generation. SS might cover rent, utilities and food but not much more. Scary stuff, James.

    • Scary Indeed. I would suggest that Social Security should not make up more than 30% of a retiree’s income. The vast majority of retirement income should come from at least three other passive and portfolio sources. Thanks for stopping and sharing your thoughts, my friend.

  2. Definitely concerned for these Boomers and the many Gen-Xer’s too who don’t seem to be saving what they should be. Thanks for sharing the article and report James.

  3. One of the reasons I started investing was I didn’t want to count on SS or my military retirement to supply me when I get older. I’m not quite up to replacing SS with dividends yet but I’m getting closer and by the end of the year it will be but I also plan on getting another job wich will hopefully raise that that I am getting for SS incase it is still around.
    Another good article from you.

    • Indeed. The more income streams, the better. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts, my friend.

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