More Portfolios Beating Recession: Edward Jones Retirement Survey

High Percentage of Americans not building a nest egg

More investors say their portfolios have recovered from market lows three years ago, but fewer Americans are saving for retirement at all, according to a survey released Tuesday by Edward Jones, a St. Louis-based investment firm.

Fifteen percent of respondents said their portfolios already have recovered from the financial downturn compared with 12% in the firm’s April 2010 retirement survey. However, 25% said they were not currently saving for retirement, an increase from 16% in 2010.

The number of Americans between the ages of 18 to 34 who are not saving for retirement increased significantly, from 26% in 2010 to 49% of those polled in 2011.

The survey also showed that although 54% of Americans' retirement portfolios have not recovered from the economic downturn; that number is improved from a year ago when 67% responded that their portfolios had not yet recovered.  

"We are seeing a positive trend in the recovery of retirement portfolios, but unfortunately, more investors, particularly younger investors, are not taking advantage of the recovery and saving for retirement," Scott Thoma, a member of the investment policy committee at Edward Jones, said in a statement. "While we cannot predict market corrections or when the next financial downturn will occur, we do know that it benefits all investors to stay invested through the various cycles and focus on long-term financial goals."

Conducted by ORC International (formerly Opinion Research Corp.), the telephone survey of 1,009 U.S. adults found that Americans between ages 55 to 64 saw their retirement savings increase significantly compared with the previous year. Twenty-one percent said their retirement savings were back to normal levels in 2011 compared with 14% of those in the same age bracket in 2010.

Americans who expect their portfolios to recover in more than three years also decreased to 21% from 29% in April 2010.

Other key findings from the survey:

  • Respondents in the West and Midwest were most optimistic about their retirement savings, with 18% and 17%, respectively, indicating their retirement savings have recovered.
  •      While 62% of respondents between the ages of 35 to 44 still believe their retirement portfolios have not yet recovered, this is a significant improvement from last year (76%).
  • The percentage of respondents who expect their retirement portfolios to take six years or more to recover fell slightly to 12% in 2011 from 15% in 2010.

Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the U.S. and, through its affiliate, in Canada.

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.