Many Americans, their confidence undermined by a challenging investment environment, are putting other goals ahead of saving for retirement, according to a new poll released Thursday by Capital One Investing.
The study measured current sentiment and behaviors related to investing and retirement of 1,005 American adults interviewed by phone in mid-January.
The survey results showed that 75% of working respondents were contributing a portion of their income to retirement today, down from 80% who reported doing so a year ago.
Sixty-four percent of working respondents, and 61% of millennials, said they were confident they were investing enough to live comfortably throughout retirement, vs. 72% in 2015. But a quarter of workers, and 29% of millennials, said they were investing only 5% or less of their income.
Thirty-nine percent of working respondents thought they should be saving more than 15% of their income, but only 15% said they were doing so.
The survey also found that 39% of working respondents made financial decisions with their spouse or significant other, down from 47% in 2014.
In addition, only 19% of non-retirees said they discussed retirement planning monthly or more often.
The survey found that many investors were putting other goals ahead of adding to their retirement savings in 2016.
Indeed, only 16% of respondents said increasing their retirement savings was their top priority this year.
Instead, 27% cited travel to a new destination as their top goal, and 23% said they most hoped to lose weight.
Among millennials, only 11% said growing their retirement nest egg was their top goal, compared with 31% who were prioritizing travel and 22% who were setting their sights on buying a home.
Baby boomers in the survey were most likely to prioritize retirement savings, but they, too, put weight loss ahead of saving more.
Forty-two percent of respondents complained about industry jargon, saying it kept them from investing with confidence, and 41% blamed a lack of price transparency for their lack of confidence.
Sixty percent of millennials in the poll said lack of investing knowledge or experience undermined their confidence, compared with 47% of their Gen X and 46% of their baby boomer counterparts.