Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 83, No. 3

(released August 2023)
by Richard E. Chard, Matt Messel, and David Rogofsky

Using data from the first three waves of the Understanding America Study, the authors examine how public knowledge of the Social Security retirement program helps individuals make optimal decisions about saving and the timing of benefit claiming. They use descriptive statistics to highlight differences in program knowledge by respondents' race and ethnicity as well as by age, education level, and sex. They also discuss the implications of their findings and suggest directions for future research.

by John A. Turner, Emily S. Andrews, and David Rajnes

This study explores the documented propensity of women to have more pessimistic expectations than men about future economic conditions in general and Social Security retirement benefits in particular. The authors present an extensive literature review covering research in psychology, economics, and an array of factors that may underlie gender differences in Social Security expectations. Then, they focus on a 2020 survey on Social Security expectations, first presenting selected detailed results, then conducting a multivariate regression analysis to test whether dispositional or socioeconomic factors exert greater influence on women's pessimistic expectations.