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Is America Worried About Retirement? Yes!

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A majority of Americans, 62%, are more concerned about retirement today than they were last year — that’s an increase from the 56% who said so in May. Those who are closest to retirement are the most likely to be worried.

That’s according to a survey by SimplyWise, an online tool that helps investors understand Social Security.

More than half of respondents, 55%, said they were worried Social Security would be “dried up.”  Other common retirement worries were outliving savings (50% of respondents), paying medical bills (47%) and paying daily living expenses (39%). Thirty-seven percent were worried they wouldn’t be able to retire at all.

The online study of 1,128 Americans aged 18 and older was done by SimplyWise July 3-6.

Other findings included:

  • One in five of those surveyed could not last more than two weeks off their savings.
  • 72% now plan to work in retirement (up from 67% in May)
  • 58% of those in the workforce are making what they were making prior to COVID-19 (67% of white respondents, 50% of Hispanic respondents and 45% of Black respondents said this)
  • One in five in their 60s have lost their jobs or been furloughed due to COVID-19
  • 24% are now planning to tap their 401(k) (including 41% of those laid off due to COVID-19)
  • 63% of Blacks surveyed could not come up with $500 in cash today (without selling something or taking out a loan).
  • Half of those surveyed say another stimulus check is very important to their finances; only 12% believe it isn’t important at all
  • 72% (83% of Democrats vs. 60% of Republicans) believe a recession will continue into next year

The study also found that whereas 12% of white Americans surveyed had lost their jobs or been furloughed, 20% of people of color said the same.

Another discriminator is age: Those in their 60s may find it difficult to be rehired, usually for health or discrimination reasons. In fact, whereas 25% have had income reduced due to COVID-19, the unemployment rate that “appears higher for seniors may be indicative of companies looking to cut those with higher salaries and potentially greater insurance costs.”

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