Lack of retirement preparedness is again among the top three financial concerns of American workers, according to new research.
So reports PwC in its 2015 “Employee Financial Wellness Survey.” A study of financial and retirement well-being of working U.S. adults nationwide, the report polled 1,700 full-time employees.
Just over half of workers (51 percent) question whether they’ll have enough emergency savings to pay for unexpected expenses, the survey indicates. And 4 in 10 list “not being able to retire when I want to” as their second top financial concern. An inability to meet monthly expenses is third in the rankings at 19 percent.
“[We] see signs of neglect with saving and planning for long-term goals, areas to closely monitor moving forward,” the report states. “The impact of shifting greater responsibility for retirement funding to employees in the face of stagnant wages, disappearing defined benefit pensions, changing Social Security and Medicare benefits, longer life spans, and rising health care costs may indicate challenges ahead.”
On a positive note, the research observes that working Americans are improving other financial metrics. Among them: cash flow, debt management and housing issues.
Meanwhile, one-third of employees (33 percent) are having difficulty meeting household expenses. This compares to 49 percent in 2012. Likewise, fewer employees this year than in 2012 are carrying credit card balances (47 percent vs. 53 percent); and, among those who do have balances, fewer are finding it difficult to meet their minimum payments each month (26 percent vs. 39 percent).
Home ownership has declined relative to 2012 (69 percent vs. 74 percent). The good news is that only 15 percent of homeowners who make mortgage payments say the outstanding balance of their mortgage is greater than the value of their home (15 percent vs. 29 percent).
Lack of confidence in participants’ retirement preparedness is evident in other survey findings. Among them:
54 percent of employees would consider working a partial retirement (reduced schedule) if their employer offered one.
51 percent say they would be willing to sacrifice a portion of future pay to secure a guaranteed retirement income for life, up 48 percent in 2014.
35 percent say they will likely have to use money saved for retirement for non-retirement expenses, up from 27 percent at the close of 2012.