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Political Editors / Jun. 8, 2017

A Quarter of Millennials Banking on Social Security for Retirement

A recent Gallup poll indicates that trust among the young in this massive federal program is at an all-time high.

Many people early into their careers probably don’t spend much time contemplating retirement, at least not questions regarding how they will be able to afford it. There are often the more immediate and pressing money matters, such as paying off school, car or mortgage loans, not to mention the price of health care and the seemingly ever-growing cost associated with raising children. For many young Americans, 45 to 50 years down the road seems too far off to seriously consider and plan for in the present. Besides, everyone pays into Social Security anyway, so at least they’ll have that, right?

Well, a recent Gallup poll suggests that a quarter of individuals between the ages of 18 and 29 are expecting to rely on Social Security benefits for their retirement. This percentage is an all-time high for this survey, as well as being quite troubling. Due primarily to demographic trends, Social Security is becoming less sustainable every year. While in 2005 George W. Bush sought to enact reforms to the program — namely in the form of creating personal retirement accounts — it got nowhere. And Donald Trump has been consistent in saying that he won’t touch Social Security.

News from the survey isn’t all bad. A majority (64%) of Millennials believe that “Social Security should be reformed to allow workers to invest some of their contributions in individual savings accounts,” which has been a position favored by many conservatives. But the bad news is that Social Security is a looming crisis that far too many members of Congress, and the president, seem all too content to ignore.

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