Retirement Tops List of Financial Concerns

Never being able to afford retirement is the nation’s most common financial concern for the second year in a row, according to a survey from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Almost 40% of Americans chose retirement as the top issue on a list of 16 possible financial concerns facing Americans. It came in ahead of uninsured medical expenses, the price of gas and rising education costs, AICPA reported.  

More than half of working adults (55%) say they don’t know how much they need to save to retire, and many who think they know are likely off in their projections, research suggests. Asked to estimate how much they need to retire at age 65 and live for 20 years, those earning $50,000 to $75,000 annually said $250,000, at the median. Assuming inflation and annual expenses of $50,000, that amount of savings likely would run out in less than 10 years, AICPA said.  

Younger workers have the biggest gap between expectations for retirement and their knowledge about preparing for it, according to the survey. Sixty percent of those ages18 to 24 say they’ll be able to retire, yet 74% have no idea how much they need to save in order to make it happen.   

Fifty-six percent of survey respondents say they cannot save. Only 16% say they’re financially better off now than a year ago, and 29% say they’re worse off.  

Harris Interactive conducted the survey by telephone within the United States from March 23-27, among a nationwide cross-section of 1,005 adults ages 18 and older.