The AARP recently published a report documenting how adults are changing their spending and saving habits in the last 12 months. While most adults have started cutting back or saving more, there are some troubling trends in retirement saving.
Over 60 percent of older adults, defined in the survey as respondents over 50, are increasing their saving or decreasing spending to have more money in an emergency. Of those who have made changes to their financial habits, 53 percent of older adults are doing so to have more for retirement.
However, 30 percent of all respondents are putting less money in retirement accounts and 20 percent are stopping contributions altogether.
Older adults are more likely to use an IRA as a savings vehicle than their younger counterparts, the survey found; 45 percent are using an IRA compared with 34 percent of adults under 50. However, 401(k)s are still the most popular savings vehicle among both age groups; 52 percent of older adults and 78 percent of younger adults utilize a 401(k) for their retirement savings.
Almost two-thirds of adults plan to spend at least some of their 2009 stimulus benefit. Over half of older adults will use the money to pay for medical needs.