42% of Americans ‘very worried’ about retirement: Survey

  • 43% of non-retired Americans expect a financially comfortable retirement
  • Younger and upper-income Americans are most optimistic about retirement
  • Expert: Solution to “crisis” is to solve everyday financial challenges now

(NewsNation) — Amid recession fears, economic pessimism continues as Americans are growing more concerned they won’t be able to retire comfortably, according to a new survey.

Only 43% of nonretired adults think they’ll have enough money to live comfortably when they retire, according to Gallup. That’s the lowest level for that metric since 2012.

A record low of 19% of lower-income Americans expect to live comfortably, while a record high of 88% express worry about having enough money to retire, according to the survey.

Younger adults are more hopeful about their retirement. Fifty-four percent of those aged 18 to 29 say they expect to have enough money to live comfortably, while 38% of those aged 30 to 49 shared the same sentiment and 39% of those 50 to 64.

Meanwhile, 42% said they were “very worried” about being able to fund their retirement.

“Just think about the economy in general — people are scared; they’re not stable right now,” said Peter Dunn, CEO of Your Money Line. “So, it’s really hard to say I’m going to be stable in 30 years; however, right now, I’m not stable.”

Dunn said the best way to solve the “retirement crisis” is to “stabilize your finances” now.

“The actual way you solve this problem is to solve your everyday challenges right now,” he said. “Get your emergency fund where it needs to go, get out of debt, don’t make a bad housing purchase that pushes your budget out of whack.”

Americans’ confidence in retirement varies based on their income levels.

19% of non-retirees expect to have enough money to retire “comfortably,” while 36% of middle-income adults do and 65% of upper-income adults.

Those who’ve already retired aren’t as worried about their retirement prospects as non-retirees. The future of Social Security could be part of the reason for that divide.

The survey found that while 59% of retirees said Social Security is a major source of their retirement income, only 34% of retirees expect it will be for them. Non-retirees expect to be forced to rely more on saving accounts like 401(K)s and IRAs.

For those who are retired, Dunn urges them not to have too much fun too early.

“The key there is to not have a significant honeymoon period that stretches all of your money too soon,” Dunn said. “So slow and steady wins the race, and that’s especially true in retirement.”

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