Retired Americans Need More Savings

Just 20% of those who have retired say they’ve saved enough.

Although the total percentage of adults surveyed by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute who say they are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about their financial security upon retirement has decreased since February, the percentage saying they are “very” concerned increased from 37.6% to 42.3%.

Joseph Angelelli, a gerontologist and RMU assistant professor of health services administration, said any shift in opinions bears continued scrutiny as a larger segment of the Baby Boomer generation enters retirement. According to Angelelli, more than 10,000 Americans retire every day. The average reported age of retirement by survey participants was 62.27.

More than half of all respondents (51.9%) indicate they have family or friends to rely on in retirement—down from 55.5% in February. Approximately 40% say they have begun saving for retirement but not yet finished, while 15.5% say they have finished saving for retirement, down from 19.8% in February. More than one-third (36.9%) say they have not started saving for retirement.

Among those surveyed that have retired, just 20.2% suggested they had saved enough. Of this group, 15.3% noted they worked longer than they wanted to before retiring.

“The retirement landscape has changed dramatically for this generation. Think of the uncertainties one must consider: Improvements in health care might dramatically extend one’s life, the rules of the road for Social Security and for Medicare are anything but fixed and can be changed at the whim of Congress,” says Bob Beaves, professor of finance at RMU. “Health care costs increase significantly year over year and interest rates for the ‘safe’ investment retirees often rely upon are unpredictable and could remain near all-time lows.”

The poll was conducted October 10 through 15 and sampled opinions of 1,000 adults. The average age of respondents was 41.