Less than half of non-retired Americans are confident they’ll reach their financial goals by retirement, according to a new survey conducted for the American Institute of CPAs.
The survey, which was conducted by telephone among 1,018 adults aged 18 and over between March 24 and 27, found that 46% of non-retired Americans are confident they will reach their retirement goals, compared with 49% who are not confident (29% not sure, 20% don’t think they ever will). The survey sample included 650 adults self-identified as “non-retired” and 322 as “retired.”
Only 5% of non-retired Americans reported that they had already reached their retirement goals.
The study finds that this lack of overall confidence tracks with anxiety about the financial aspects of retirement – with two-in-five non-retired Americans (42%) saying they are either very anxious (14%) or somewhat anxious (29%).
The specific cause of their anxiety ranges from health care costs (71%) and health care uncertainty (68%) to affording everyday expenses and bills (67%), Social Security uncertainty (62%) and uncertainty over tax rates (52%).
In addition, figuring out how much money will be required in retirement (70%) and the overall difficulty of planning for retirement (54%) are causing anxiety for a substantial percentage of non-retired Americans, according to the study.
“Saving for retirement is a marathon, not a sprint. By establishing a monthly budget and starting to build up savings early on, Americans will find themselves in a much better position later on,” Greg Anton, CPA, CGMA, and chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, said in a statement. “The most important thing people can do in any financial environment is focus on what they can control and understand the role that their actions play in their retirement plan.”
The survey finds that the traditional “three-legged stool” model of retirement planning – Social Security, a pension and personal savings, including 401(k) and IRAs – still holds up among those currently retired.
According to the survey, currently retired Americans cite Social Security (61%), pension plans (36%) or cash or savings accounts (25%) as their top two sources of income in retirement.