More than two-thirds of seniors say that Social Security benefits are critical to their retirement planning according to a new survey, while a plurality said their biggest financial regret from their younger days was not saving enough.
The April survey was conducted by LendEDU, an online student loan refinancing marketplace, which sought the opinions of 1,000 seniors over the age of 65 on a variety of savings and retirement-related matters. Nearly 55% of those people told the company that they had not saved enough money for retirement, as compared to just 26.6% who said they had; the remaining 18.8% replied that they weren’t sure.
“It came as quite a surprise that so many senior citizens believe they are not aptly prepared for life after work, when they should be enjoying warm weather and leisure activities,” the company observed.
While the overarching aim of the survey was to teach millennials the importance of saving early for retirement — 21% of respondents, for instance, said they regretted not saving enough for their retirement in their 20s, while 17% said they spent too much on non-essential purchases — it also reveals the extent to which many seniors do not have a diversified safety net.
When asked if Social Security benefits were “a critical component” of their long-term strategies, 69.1% said yes, with just 18.7% saying no and 12.2% saying they weren’t sure.
“Considering many of LendEDU’s respondents are not sufficiently prepared for retirement, having life insurance or access to Social Security benefits could become quite pivotal for living comfortably in their later years,” the company noted.
The LendEDU analysis comes on the heels of a similar report from the Social Security Administration, which found that a quarter of U.S. residents aged 65 and older drew 90% or more of their household wealth from Social Security alone.
Check out the full survey results at LendEDU.
Written by Alex Spanko