Further, those who say they have done everything they can to prepare financially for retirement (most of the respondents) are substantially more likely to have consulted a financial professional (52% vs 32%), according to a new survey conducted on behalf of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). However, one-third of adult respondents to the survey acknowledge they have not yet done what they can to prepare, which includes a quarter of those on the verge of their retirement years (ages 55-64).
The SIFMA survey also found that almost one-third of respondents describe themselves as either “apprehensive,’ “panicked,’ or “clueless’ about their retirement preparedness.
SIFMA found that the problem is not just that Americans do not or have not saved enough. Nearly 30% of respondents said they are focused on finding the money that could potentially be saved, while another third said they may have the money, but they do not know how to manage it. The last third, (34%) reported struggling with the challenges of getting started, of focusing on saving, or of finding the right kinds of help.
“The first step is stop panicking and start planning,’ said Marc Lackritz, president and CEO of SIFMA, in a press release. “As the survey results show, talking to a financial professional can jumpstart a person’s confidence about retirement readiness.’
However, discomfort about the prospect of retirement is higher for the 45-54 age group than it is for those younger or older – with 38% of respondents in this group expressing some level of apprehension or related concern about retirement. Although one might hope that apprehension might decline as Americans age and get closer to retirement, 30% of adults age 55-64 still described their emotional state regarding their financial preparation for retirement as uncomfortable.
The survey is the result of a telephone poll of 1,000 respondents and was conducted May 29-31 by Artemis Strategy Group. The data are weighted to give appropriate representation on various demographic factors, including: age, income, the four national census regions and gender.
SIFMA offers online resources that offer information on savings and investing, including www.pathtoinvesting.com, www.investinginbonds.com, and www.tomorrowsmoney.org. The organization has also launched www.retiresmarts.com, which contains data, trends and statistical information for the retirement climate across the United States.