Survey Finds Fewer Americans Saved for Retirement Last Year

Fewer Americans are saving for retirement and many still aren’t saving at all, according to a survey commissioned by online investing firm Scottrade.

The survey found fear and anxiety about retirement has subsided, though 51% of Americans age 18 and older are still concerned about having enough money to retire (compared to 56% in 2009). However, 40% of Americans are not actively planning for retirement (up from 35% in 2009) and representing a four-year high, according to the Scottrade survey.

Forty-one percent of Americans have saved $25,000 or less for retirement, and the same percentage saved nothing at all in 2009, up from 33% who said they saved nothing in 2008. One-third of respondents admitted that they planned to save nothing in 2010.

While the survey suggests many Americans aren’t saving, those with retirement savings held steady through market turmoil. Most Americans (78%) reported keeping their retirement savings invested in the market. Of the 22% of investors who did get out of the market, more than half of them plan to move some or all of the amount back, according to the survey.

More respondents (66%) reported that the value of their retirement accounts stayed the same or increased in 2009. Of those who saw declines, nearly two-thirds (62%) expect they will recover within five years, and 43% trust that their accounts will rebound with the market and are not planning to save more to rebuild their nest eggs.

The 2010 American Retirement Survey commissioned by Scottrade polled 1,000 Americans 18 years of age or older using Synovate’s national online omnibus survey, eNation, in late January.