Among employed respondents in a new survey, 91% said saving for retirement was a current financial goal, with 64% identifying it as a major one, TIAA reported Wednesday.
No goal ranked higher among this demographic group, according to TIAA.
At the same time, 60% of participants reported that they had fallen behind on retirement savings; among these, 30% said their progress has been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
TIAA said these findings may help to explain why 34% of Americans ranked “how much is needed to save for retirement” as their top financial concern, followed closely by “today’s cost of living” and the “cost of health care and health insurance.”
“Despite the financial struggles brought about by the COVID-19 crisis, Americans understand that having the foundation of a secure financial plan can bring stability and peace of mind — even in the most turbulent of times,” said TIAA’s head of client relationships Doug Chittenden said in a statement.
“A financial crisis like the one brought on by COVID-19 often leads to a moment of inflection and serves as an opportunity for people to consider their current financial status and future goals to make adjustments, as necessary.”
The survey showed that the pandemic had changed nearly 80% of Americans’ views about what is financially important.
Sixty-six percent of respondents said they wanted to save more, while 65% placed increased importance on emergency funds and 59% on having a source of guaranteed lifetime income once they had retired.
“This research shows that 56% of adults only consider the next 12 months when financial planning, and this can hamper long-terms goals like retirement,” Snezana Zlatar, head of financial wellness advice and innovation at TIAA, said in the statement.
“While it may seem far-off and overwhelming, taking small actions toward your long-term goals when possible can pay off. Setting aside even a modest amount of money each month toward your retirement is one of the best things you can do today for your financial future.”
Greenwald Research fielded the survey in late July among 3,040 Americans between the ages of 25 and 70 with household annual income of at least $40,000.