Most Americans Do Not Expect Comfortable Retirement

The percentage of Americans who say they will be able to live comfortably in retirement fell to 46% from 53% a year ago, a Gallup poll found.

“Not having enough money for retirement” was the number one consumer worry as ranked in Gallup’s most recent economy and personal finance survey.

Sixty-three percent of Americans polled said they were very or moderately worried about not having enough money for retirement, followed by 56% who had the same level of worry that they would not be able to pay medical costs associated with a serious illness or accident, and 55% who are worried they will not be able to maintain their current standard of living.

Retirement Income

Gallup also found the forces in the economy have led to a change in ideas about where Americans will receive retirement income.

One in five future retirees expect to use part-time work as a major source of their retirement funding, which is double the 10% who had the same expectation in April 2001, said the write-up of the results.

Fifty-four percent of those who have yet to retire said they expect their 401(k), IRA, Keogh, or other retirement savings accounts to be a major source of income in retirement, which was up to two points since last year.

Social Security was the second most cited expected source of retirement income (31% of respondents), which was an increase from 27% a year ago.

Meanwhile, the percentage of those looking to a work-sponsored pension plan as a major source of retirement income fell from 31% last year to 26% this year. The percentage looking to the equity in their homes for retirement income is down from 30% to 26%.

Only 17% of future retirees indicated they expect individual stocks or mutual funds to be a major source of their retirement income, down by nearly one-third from the 24% who thought these investments would be a major source for them a year ago, Gallup said. Also, the percentage expecting their regular savings accounts or CDs to fill this role dropped from 23% to 17%.

Gallup conducted telephone interviews with 1,021 adults, aged 18 and older last month. The results can be viewed here.