The presumption that an individual will use Social Security in a “substantial way” increases the nearer retirement looms. A recent survey by AARP found that 32 percent of young boomers and 41 percent of older boomers say they plan to or currently are relying heavily on Social Security.
As boomers age, they are more likely to say that Social Security will be their main source of income in retirement. Twenty-seven percent of those between 45 and 54 say they will rely most on Social Security; 37 percent of boomers between 55 and 64 agreed.
One-quarter of younger boomers say they won’t use Social Security at all, but older boomers are dramatically less optimistic. Just 12 percent say they won’t rely on Social Security at all for retirement income. The same percentage says they will rely mostly on savings and other investments for retirement income. Seventeen percent of young boomers say they will depend more on savings than Social Security in retirement.
Older boomers are far more likely to say they will rely on a company-sponsored pension plan than they would a 401(k). One-fifth of boomers between 55 and 64 say they rely or plan to rely on a pension plan, more than any other age group, even respondents 65 and older (15 percent). Just 6 percent of older boomers say they will use a 401(k) for retirement income.