Most Americans would rather take the necessary actions now, like raising taxes, to save Social Security benefits for future generations, according to a new AP-GfK poll.
The federal retirement program is facing serious long-term financial problems. Trustees warn Social Security will likely run out of money in 2033.
When given the choice of acting now or later on Social Security, 53 percent of responding adults said they would rather raise taxes now than risk benefits running out in the future.
"Right now, it seems like we're taxed so much, but if that would be the only way to go, I guess I'd have to be for it to preserve it," said Marge Youngs, a 77-year-old widow from Toledo, Ohio. "It's extremely important to me. It's most of my income."
Fifty-three percent of respondents also supported raising the retirement age now, if necessary. About 35 percent of the adults said they would prefer a cut in monthly benefits over raising the retirement age.
Millions of retiring baby boomers and fewer workers left to pay into Social Security is putting a strain on the system.
So far, the future of Social Security has not been an issue in this year's election.
When asked about the candidates' credibility on Social Security, 47 percent said they trust President Barack Obama to do a better job, and 44 percent said they trust Republican opponent Mitt Romney.