MetLife Finds Americans Not Prepared for Retirement

The newly released "MetLife Retirement Readiness Index: Are Americans Prepared for the Transition?" indicates that pre-retirees haven’t taken necessary steps to prepare for retirement.

The study revealed that 52% of respondents are behind in their savings goals; 25% say they are significantly behind.  Only 28% are confident they are on track or have reached their goals. 

Only a third (35%) of the 45- to 49-year-olds feel prepared for retirement, while 64% of the 60- to 64-year-olds and 81% of 65- to 70-year-olds feel prepared, according to a release of the survey results.  

Those with fewer than five years until retirement scored higher on retirement preparedness than those further from retirement. Males are much more likely than females to have thought about whether full-time retirement is financially feasible and how much they are willing to work in retirement. They are also more likely than females to have determined whether their retirement plans are adequate, identified what external factors could affect their retirement, and determined the steps necessary to receive the benefits due them, MetLife said. 

According to the survey findings, most people wait until the final few years prior to retirement to make significant decisions.  Older workers (age 60 to 64), those within five years of retirement, and retirees have put significant effort into determining what’s necessary to receive corporate and government retirement benefits. 

Forty-six percent of respondents who are still working said they will delay their planned retirement age. However, of those who have already retired, 64% report they retired earlier than expected, while only 33% retired when planned.  Only 3% report they retired later than expected. 

In addition, the survey found 46% of respondents have considered the importance of relationships with co-workers in making the decision to retire, and 45% have considered how various aspects of their retirement might positively or negatively affect their relationships with family and friends. 

The Retirement Readiness Index and a Retirement Readiness Workbook that is available free to the public can be found at