Thirty-six percent of Gen X consumers were very concerned about having enough money for retirement compared to 25 percent of Gen Y and 30 percent of Baby Boomers.
The finding, published in a recent retirement study conducted and released by LIMRA, highlights the anxiety around retirement preparedness that many Americans are feeling even though they are in the midst of their prime earning years.
It may very well be that it is precisely those prime earning years that are causing Gen X’s secure retirement uncertainty. Or, more accurately, the life events that take place during one’s prime earning years which are causing the uncertainty. Saving for a child’s education, caring for ageing parents and balancing other costs that accompany middle age can all distract from retirement planning, thus breeding a lack of confidence regarding a secure retirement.
Although fewer than 20 percent of all Americans are very confident they will have a secure retirement, Baby Boomers and those in Gen X displayed the most trepidation, 13 and 14 percent respectively. Meanwhile, 21 percent of Gen Y reported that they would have a secure retirement. Gen Y may in fact have extracted valuable information from their front-row seat to the financial crisis with one quarter of them stating that they are “learning from the mistakes of others.”
When asked to define what a secure retirement means, the top three descriptions given by survey respondents were “living comfortably” (24 percent), “having financial freedom” (23 percent) and “peace of mind” (16 percent).
Seventy-five percent of consumers reported that they had taken at least one concrete step towards realizing a secure retirement. Not surprisingly, contributing to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan was the most common action taken by respondents who were working full-time while workers over age 55 took a more active role, calculating retirement income; discussing plans with a financial professional; and attempting to determine expenses.
Also included in the study, LIMRA continued its examination of American’s financial knowledge.
Just half of those surveyed reported that they were “somewhat” or “very knowledgeable about investments and financial products with women, younger, and lower-income Americans disproportionately scoring themselves lower.
Six in ten women reported that they had little or no knowledge of financial products compared with 4 in 10 men. However, the results of a LIMRA financial literacy quiz showed that women and man had similar scores.
The findings are based on a nationally-representative survey of 2,032 Americans that was conducted in July of 2013.