Compared with people in the rest of the world, U.S. residents are surprisingly good at preparing for retirement.[@@]

Kenneth Gelman, director of market research at AXA Financial, New York, presented survey data supporting that conclusion today at a discussion of the survey results.

The researchers who conducted the survey interviewed 800 adult residents of the United States and 8,400 adult residents of 14 other developed countries. The survey included at least one country, the Netherlands, where the average amount of gross domestic product per resident is higher than the U.S. average.

But the researchers found that the U.S. residents they interviewed reported saving the equivalent of an average of 531 euros per month for their retirement. The second-ranking country was Australia, where residents reported saving only 405 euros per month for retirement. Residents of the Netherlands, which may be the wealthiest country included in the survey, save only 199 euros per month for retirement.

The researchers also found that more than 75% of the U.S. participants reported that they are saving money for retirement and that 73% said they were prepared for retirement.

More than 80% of the participants have a plan for where they want to live, what they want to do, and how much money they will need to reach these goals, the researchers found.

U.S. workers also tended to have modest expectations about their retirement age: Although U.S. survey participants said they would like to retire at age 55, they admitted that they expected to have to work until age 63.

Today, 72% of U.S. residents who already are retired say their standard of living has remained the same or improved.

When researchers asked about efforts to raise the normal Social Security retirement age, 64% of the working participants and 48% of the retired participants said they opposed increasing the benefits eligibility age.

But 87% of the U.S. workers and 85% of the U.S. retirees said the main source of retirement financing should be employees’ own savings.