Younger Workers Lack Feeling of Control over Retirement

Nearly half of Americans younger than 30 (49%) do not feel in control of determining their retirement date, according to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey.

Among this group, nearly one-third (31%) say that their retirement date is “not at all” in their control.

Reaching a savings goal is the number one concern Americans have regarding their ability to retire, especially among those younger than 30. Nearly half (49%) of Americans feel not saving enough could be the greatest setback on their path to retirement. This number rises to 55% for those younger than 30.

“Fear of the unknown is understandable, younger Americans may be jaded by the slow recession recovery and uncertainty surrounding social security,” says Joe Buhrmann, manager of Financial Security Field Support.

Saving and choosing a retirement age are vital retirement-planning steps, but factoring in how long you will live during retirement should also be added to your plan, according to Buhrmann. People may not be adequately estimating how long they will live in retirement. The majority of Americans (69%) anticipate living more than 15 years in retirement; however, 26% of those younger than 30 anticipate living 30 years or longer in retirement.

"Your retirement plans includes saving, choosing a realistic age and then predicting how long you will live; all three steps are reliant on each other," says Buhrmann.

The survey found the majority of retirees say living the retirement dream is achievable. Many envision an early retirement, but waiting correlates with higher retirement satisfaction, perhaps due to the ability to save longer.   Retirees ages 65 and older are significantly more likely (79%) to say they are living the retirement of their dreams. Early retirees ages 50 to 64, are much less likely (51%) to say they're living their dream retirement.

Retirees with a higher income are also more likely to say they're living the retirement of their dreams, although satisfaction does not rise exponentially with income. Among those with a retirement income of $50,000 to $75,000, a large majority (82%) are living their ideal retirement. Retirement satisfaction peaks among those with a retirement income greater than $75,000 but less than $100,000, with 91% of individuals in this income group living the retirement of their dreams.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by GfK, an independent research firm. Surveys were conducted using GfK's KnowledgePanel, a national, probability-based panel designed to be representative of the general population and includes responses from approximately 1,000 U.S. adults for national surveys.

Survey data, videos and analysis are available at