Americans are significantly more worried about their retirement funding than they were even a few years ago, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. In a significant shift, the most concerned adults are now middle-aged and younger, with those closer to retirement showing more confidence.
Writing for Pew Social & Demographic Trends, Rich Morin and Richard Fry say that in a new national survey, nearly four in 10 adults say they are “not too” or “not at all” confident about having sufficient income and assets for retirement. In early 2009, only 25% of respondents felt that way.
Of those between the ages of 36 and 40, 53% told Pew Research that they were “not too” or “not at all” secure about retirement savings. Only about a third of those 60 to 64 years old fall into those lackluster categories and even fewer (26%) of those 18 to 22.
As little as three years ago, a mere 18% of 36- to 40-year-olds expressed similar woes. Morin and Fry say “the median net worth of this group has fallen at a far greater rate than for any other age group both in the past 10 years and since the beginning of the Great Recession.”
In addition, the Morin and Fry note in the report, Gallup surveys from a longer time frame suggest retirement concerns have grown steadily over the past decade, with confidence declines beginning well before the housing market fallout or financial system turmoil.
“According to Gallup,” the pair writes, “the percentage of adults who fear they will not have enough money to live ‘comfortably’ in retirement has grown from 32% in 2002 to 66% last year. During that same period, the share who worry that they do not have enough money to retire increased by 12 percentage points, from 54% to 66%.”
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