Most Investors Say They Aren’t Saving Enough: Edward Jones

A recent survey—which uncovers regional disparities—finds that for one in 10, retirement isn't seen as attainable

The majority of Americans, 63%, do not believe they are saving enough for retirement, according to an Edward Jones survey released Friday. In addition, the April poll of 565 individuals found, this outlook varies by region.

In the Midwest, only 54% of those surveyed felt they were not saving enough. However, this number spiked to 68% in the West, 64% in the South and 63% in the Northeast, perhaps reflecting higher expenses in certain regions and real estate price discrepancies.

When asked why they did not feel they were saving enough, 32% said it was because they had too many current expenses, 10% referred to retirement as not being attainable, 10% believed it is too early, 5% said retirement was not desirable and 4% were too busy.

"While everyday expenses like education and housing are clearly necessary expenses for many Americans, this survey found that there is still almost one-third of respondents who point to fairly vague reasons for not saving enough, including those with concerns that saving for retirement is unattainable or that it's too early to start," said Scott Thoma, Investment Policy Committee Member at Edward Jones, in a statement.

In addition, the results varied significantly by age. Of those 18 to 34, 72% say they are not saving enough. This figure drops to 63% for those 35 to 44, 56% for ages 45 to 54, 49% for ages 55 to 64 and 47% for those 65 and older.

"We want to remind Americans that taking a proactive approach, no matter how minimal it may seem, is the best way to overcome retirement-readiness fears," Thoma said. "Investing regularly into a 401(k) or an IRA can be a great option. By working with a financial professional, any investor, whether they are at the beginning of their career or close to traditional retirement age, can work to develop a plan to help them achieve their goals."

The survey also found that household and family size has a clear impact on retirement savings. While the survey average shows that 32% of Americans are grappling with too many current expenses to save for retirement, the percentage increases dramatically for respondents with children between 13 and 17 to 49%.

"Balancing college and retirement savings is a common challenge for parents. With limited resources, it's important to create a strategy that will help allocate savings appropriately," Thoma shared. For respondents with no children, only 25% state that current expenses are impacting their ability to save.

Edward Jones currently has some 12,000 financial advisors working with nearly 7 million clients nationwide.

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