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Lack of Retirement Savings Worries Many

An annual Gallup survey on the economy and personal finance found that a higher percentage of Americans (66%) are worried about not having enough money for retirement than about other financial matters.*

They may have good reason to be worried. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 56% of all workers have less than $25,000 in total savings and investments. And more than a third (36%) of those ages 55 and older have less than $25,000 put away for retirement.**

Younger people most concerned
People between the ages of 30 and 49 are most worried, with 77% of Gallup respondents in this age group saying they are very or somewhat concerned about not having enough money for retirement. Among 50- to 64-year-olds, 70% expressed worry about the adequacy of their retirement savings. Not surprisingly, those ages 65 and older are least likely to be worried (45%), possibly because many are already retired.

How worried are you?
While adequacy of retirement savings has been a top concern of previous Gallup respondents, the percentage of people who are very worried has been significantly higher since 2008. A common reaction to financial fears — lack of confidence in investing abilities, uncertainty about the future or fear of running out of money in retirement — is to do nothing. This inertia is a surefire way to derail your retirement. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  • Contribute regularly to an IRA or your employer’s retirement plan or both
  • Sign up for automatic contribution increases if offered by your plan
  • Arrange for automatic contributions to your IRA and regularly increase them until you reach the contribution limit
  • Learn as much as you can about retirement investing
  • Calculate how much you’ll need to accumulate

Your financial professional can help relieve concerns you may have about your future by showing you ways you can work toward achieving your retirement and other financial goals.

Percentage of People Worried About Certain Financial Matters
Financial issue: % of people worried

  • Not having enough money for retirement: 66%
  • Not being able to pay medical costs for a serious illness/accident: 60%
  • Not being able to maintain current standard of living: 58%
  • Not having enough money to pay medical costs for normal health care: 48%
  • Not having enough money to pay normal monthly bills: 43%
  • Not having enough money to pay for children’s college: 41%
  • Not being able to pay rent/mortgage/other housing costs: 36%
  • Not being able to make the minimum payments on credit cards: 24%

* Gallup, www.gallup.com/poll/148058/lack-retirement-funds-americans-biggest-financial-worry.aspx, June 15, 2011

** 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, Employee Benefit Research Institute and Mathew Greenwald & Associates, March 2011