Pre-retirees have to save an additional seven years compared with current retirees, according to a survey released Monday by HSBC.
“While there is much to learn from today’s retirees, younger generations must navigate their own path through the big events in their lives and a changing financial landscape,” Charlie Nunn, group head of wealth management, said in the report. “Starting to save early may no longer be enough to ensure a comfortable retirement, and continuing to save through the ups and downs of life is just as important.”
The average age at which pre-retirees started saving was 29, compared to 31 for retirees, and they still plan to work an additional five years, according to the report.
The bank surveyed more than 18,000 people in 17 countries for the report. More than 1,000 respondents are from the United States.
The report found that 14% of pre-retirees haven’t started saving for retirement, including 12% in their 50s. Of those who have, 35% have been forced to stop for some reason, or have had trouble meeting their savings goals. Over half of people in their 60s (52%) are still supporting other people financially, a percentage that actually increases among people in their 70s or older (64%).
Furthermore, few pre-retirees expect they’ll still be struggling with debt once they stop working. Just 20% said they expected they would still be making credit card payments when they retired, and 5% expect to be repaying other loans. However, 40% of retirees said they were still paying off a credit card, and 12% had other loans they were paying down.
In fact, 61% of people in their 60s were still borrowing, and 67% of those in their 50s were doing the same. Half of people 70 or older were borrowing money.
Over a third of respondents who were currently retired said they wished they had started saving earlier, and 31% wish they had saved a larger share of their income. Still, 34% don’t wish they had done anything differently.
Retirees primarily rely on cash savings and Social Security for retirement income. Just 13% were using personal pension benefits to fund their retirement.
Pre-retirees were far more likely to say they’ll use income from wages to fund retirement: 36%, compared to 14% of retirees who actually continued working in retirement.
“With individuals living longer and an unpredictable financial landscape possible in the years to come, it’s crucial that Americans prioritize planning for retirement today in order to be adequately prepared for the future,” Michael Schweitzer, global head of sales and distribution, said in a statement. “Through the power of compounding, people who start planning early can save more than they imagined and help put themselves on a secure footing for retirement.”
The survey found 22% have never received any kind of advice or information about retirement: not from friends and family, not from government agencies and not from financial advisors.
While friends and family were the most common source of information about retirement, few respondents relied solely on them. Of the 58% of pre-retirees and 50% of retirees who said they got information and advice from people they knew, just 20% of pre-retirees and 11% of retirees said they only consulted them.
Respondents consulted a wide range of professionals for retirement information, according to the study, including independent and bank advisors, insurance brokers, accountants, government agencies and even health care professionals. Fifty-four percent of pre-retirees and 42% of retirees said they received advice from one of these sources.
— Read Pension Benefits May Be More Portable Than You Think: Retirement Think Tank on ThinkAdvisor.