About 80% of working Americans say they have begun to prepare for retirement, and they say the average age they started was 30.

Major life events that often trigger retirement savings efforts include milestone birthdays–such turning 40 or age 50–and having children, according to AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, part of AXA S.A., Paris.

Other factors that prompted saving included marriage and getting advice from friends and relatives, AXA reports.

AXA researchers found 55% of middle-income workers and 50% of female retirees think their retirement income will not be enough for their needs. More than half of American workers surveyed expect to work during the period typically called “retirement.”

Other key findings:

- 85% of working Americans believe their living standards will remain the same or decrease in retirement, and 81% of those already retired report their living standards have remained the same or decreased.

- Most Americans, both working and retired, say they would be most interested in financial products that potentially yield a minimum return without any financial risk.

- About half of both working Americans and retirees surveyed expect retirement reform in the next 10 years. Of those, nearly 80% say such reform will raise the minimum retirement age, while about 66% say benefits will be cut.

- 70% of retirees in the survey report receiving less income in retirement than their most recent pre-retirement salary.