When it comes to saving for retirement, most Americans 40 and older have a well-defined plan, but all too many of them aren’t saving enough — certainly not as much as they would like, according to a new survey conducted for TD Ameritrade by The Harris Poll.
Sixty percent of the 2,000 U.S. adults 40 to 79 years old polled online Aug. 30 to Sept. 10 for the Road to Retirement Survey claimed to have a well-defined retirement strategy.
However, nearly as many Americans surveyed — 58% — would give themselves a grade of “C” or lower on their retirement savings, TD Ameritrade said Thursday. While 31% gave themselves a “C,” 15% rated themselves a “D” and 12% gave themselves the dreaded “F” — the same percentage that gave themselves an “A.” Thirty percent gave themselves a “B.”
There was good news for financial advisors: Those surveyed with higher assets indicated they were “planning to lean on” financial advisors and lower retirement withdrawal rates, according to the firm. Thirty-eight percent with $250,000 or more in investable assets planned to get help or were getting help from an advisor on a retirement plan, it said.
The number of Americans surveyed who had at least $100,000 saved for retirement doesn’t change significantly until you look at those 60 and older, according to the survey’s findings.
While only 41% of Americans 40 to 49 and only 46% of those 50 to 59 who were surveyed had saved at least $100,000 for retirement, the percentages increased significantly for those 60 and older, with 62% of those 60 to 69 and 67% of those 70 to 79 saying they had saved at least that much.
“Americans don’t ramp up their retirement savings until they reach their 60s — this is where we see the biggest shift in saving attitudes,” Dara Luber, senior manager of retirement at TD Ameritrade, said in a statement. “At the same time, the top retirement advice they’d give to their younger selves would be to start saving (68%) and investing (60%) earlier in life.”
The average target age to retire is 67 but, of those surveyed, only 60% in their 40s and 65% in their 50s thought it is likely they would be able to retire at their desired age, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 66% of pre-retirees surveyed would retire today if they had the financial means to do so, TD Ameritrade said.