US Retirement Concerns Grow

April 25, 2011

gallup-retirement-outlook-apr11.gifA 53% majority of non-retired Americans do not think they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, up 40% from 32% who felt this way in 2002, according to results of an April 2011 Gallup poll. This figure is also up about 10% year-over-year from 48%.

Younger Americans Most Positive

gallup-retirement-outlook-by-age-apr11.gifSurvey data indicates younger Americans are the most optimistic about having enough money to live comfortably when they retire, as 57% of 18-to-29-year-olds express this opinion. They are also the least likely to say they will rely on Social Security as a source of income when they retire. Gallup says this suggests that young Americans are looking optimistically toward other sources of income in retirement.

Interestingly, those closest to retirement age, 50- to 64-year-olds, are about 18% more likely to answer positively about having enough money in retirement than those who are 30 to 49.

Non-retired Adults Now Project a Retirement Age of 66

gallup-retirement-age-apr-2011.JPGNon-retired Americans now project a higher retirement age than in previous years. When Gallup first asked non-retired adults in 1995 when they expected to retire, 12% said they would retire after age 65. That percentage is now up by a factor of about 200% to 37%. The percentage saying they will retire before age 65 is down 40%, from 47% in 1995 to 28% today.

Year-over-year, Americans are about 10% more likely to say they will retire after 65 in 2011 than in 2010.

In addition, non-retired Americans’ average projected retirement age is up 10%, from 60 in 1995 to 66 today.

Future Retirees Look to Investments

Investors who have yet to retire look to retirement accounts, such as 401(k), IRA, and Keogh accounts (74%), and stocks or stock market mutual fund investments (40%) as major funding sources when they retire, according to the February 2011Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index survey. Social Security ranks sixth at 28%.

In sharp contrast, current retirees say they depend on pension plans (49%) and Social Security (48%) as their top sources of income; retirement accounts rank third at 38%. The Wells-Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index defines investors as those having $10,000 or more of investable assets.

About the Data: Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted April 7-11, 2011, with a random sample of 1,077 adults, aged 18 and older, living in the continental US, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.


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