Saving for Retirement Stunted during Recession

Seventeen percent of respondents to a recent TD Ameritrade survey said the recession of 2008-2009 forced them to delay saving and investing for retirement.

Twenty-one percent said they delayed saving and investing in general.   

According to the survey results, the youngest generation feels the most confident in their retirement savings status. Sixty-one percent of Gen Y investors reported they are ahead of schedule/on track when it comes to retirement savings, compared to 45% of Gen X and 47% of Boomer investors. 

When older generations surveyed (born 1930-1965) were asked about the most important financial advice they would give to younger generations, the majority (77%) said “live within your means,” while 67% said “start saving for retirement earlier” and 47% responded “learn all you can about proper money management.”  

Other things delayed by the recession cited by respondents include: 

  • 36% delayed travel
  • 25% delayed purchasing a car
  • 25% delayed paying down debt

Among the respondents who delayed lifestyle decisions, 44% reported it would be one to three years before they could pursue the things they put off in the recession.

Fifty-six percent of those surveyed by TD Ameritrade reported they would have done things differently in terms of how they save and spend money if they knew prior to the recession what they know now about the impact of the recession on the stock market and the economy.  

According to the survey results, respondents said if they could go back to the time before the recession: 

  • 71% would have spent less and saved more; 
  • 65% would have lived within their means; 
  • 60% would have paid down debt; 
  • 60% would have taken more responsibility for managing their money; and  
  • 50% would have paid for purchases with cash and not credit cards. 

By gender, 70% of men said they would do things differently if they could go back, compared to 55% of women. Two-thirds of female investors said if they could go back to the time before the recession they would have spent less and saved more, compared to 54% of male investors. Forty-four percent of men said they would have kept less of their money invested in the stock market, compared to 31% of women.  

One thousand eighty-eight adults between ages 22 and 80 participated in an online survey conducted September 28 through October 19, 2010.