Seventy-five percent of participants in Fidelity Investments’ Retirement Mindset Study, released Tuesday, said they felt only somewhat confident to not confident at all in being financially prepared for retirement.
This compared with 62% who said they felt confident about their current financial health, and 65% who said they were more confident today than they were one year ago.
These findings were based on an online survey Brookmark Research Services conducted between Feb. 25 and March 2 among 1,429 adults, 23 to 74 and older.
The Fidelity study, which examines different attitudes Americans have toward retirement, sought to find out the cause of uncertainty about retirement, given respondents’ confidence about their current finances.
Lack of planning looms large. The study suggests that a significant number of people in the general population have not even considered creating a plan for retirement.
Many survey respondents said they had thought about creating one, but only 18% had prepared a comprehensive written plan for their retirement.
Twenty-three percent of those who did not have a written plan said they had never thought of having to prepare one, 22% said they did not know where to begin and 20% felt they were too far behind for a plan to make a difference.
The study found that lack of planning cuts across generations. Seventy-nine percent of baby boomers did not have a written financial plan for retirement. Likewise 81% of Gen Xers and 87% of millennials.
“We know many people feel overwhelmed by the prospect of creating a plan for retirement,” Melissa Ridolfi, vice president of college and retirement leadership at Fidelity Investments, said in a statement. “The good news is you don’t have to be a great planner or take giant leaps to get started.
“Whether you’re a millennial or a boomer, or think of yourself as a planner or not, the small steps you take today can lead to a greater sense of confidence about your retirement years. It’s never too early or too late to get started.”