Data and Research

Non-Retired Americans Anxious About Retirement Planning

Many plan to make financial sacrifices in retirement, a survey finds.

By Rebecca Moore | April 12, 2017
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Worries about health care costs and Social Security uncertainty have many Americans planning to make financial sacrifices in retirement, according to a survey conducted for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

The survey found that only 46% of non-retired Americans are confident they will reach their retirement goals, compared with 49% who are not confident (29% not sure, 20% don’t think they ever will). Only 5% of non-retired Americans report they have already reached their retirement goals.

This lack of overall confidence tracks with anxiety about the financial aspects of retirement—with two-in-five non-retired Americans (42%) saying they are either very anxious (14%) or somewhat anxious (29%). When these Americans were asked the specific cause of their anxiety, health care cost (71%), health care uncertainty (68%), affording everyday expenses and bills (67%), Social Security uncertainty (62%) and uncertainty over tax rates (52%) were cited. In addition, figuring out how much money will be required in retirement (70%) and the overall difficulty of planning for retirement (54%) are causing anxiety for a substantial percentage of non-retired Americans.

Overall, non-retired Americans are more likely than those who are currently retired to plan on making at least one financial sacrifice in retirement (92% vs. 72%). Those sacrifices include:

  • Working full-time longer than expected (45% non-retired vs. 11% retired);
  • Working a part-time job (43% vs. 17%);
  • Moving to a less expensive city or town (40% vs. 22%);
  • Forgoing medical care or treatment (28% vs. 14%).
NEXT: Sources of retirement income