More Americans pessimistic about retirement: Gallup
More Americans are pessimistic about retirement than at any point in the past decade, according to a new Gallup poll.
The survey released Thursday showed that 43 percent of current non-retirees expect to live comfortably in retirement, a drop of 5 points from last year and the lowest since 2012, when only 38 percent felt more positively about retirement. The optimism over retiring comfortably had hit a recent high of 57 percent in 2019, before the pandemic.
But the percentage of current retirees who indicated that they are living comfortably was much higher: 77 percent. That percentage has stayed relatively stable in the past two decades that Gallup has polled the question.
Pollsters found some disparities in different demographics’ optimism about retirement. Half of men polled said they expect to live comfortably, but only 36 percent of women said the same.
A majority of those 18 to 29 years old said they expect to have enough money to live comfortably, while just less than 40 percent of those 30 to 49 and 50 to 64 said they do. Almost 60 percent of respondents with a college degree said they expect comfortable retirement, but only 35 percent of non-college graduates said they think they will have comfortable living.
The poll also noted a gap between the different sources of funding that current retirees rely on and that non-retirees expect to rely on.
Almost 60 percent of retirees said Social Security makes up a major source of their retirement income, but only a third of non-retirees said they expect it to be for them. The second most common source of income for retirees is work-sponsored pension plans, listed by 28 percent of respondents.
More non-retirees, 48 percent, pointed to a 401(k), individual retirement account, Keogh plan or retirement savings account than any other source. These private accounts were the third most stated source of retirement income by retirees.
Gallup said in its analysis that the drop in non-retirees’ expectations might be a result of their difficulty saving money while prices are high with inflation and uncertainty about the future of Social Security. An analysis indicated in March that the largest trust fund for Social Security could run out as soon as 2033.
“Meanwhile, current retirees’ reports of living comfortably are unshaken, with a strong majority continuing to report that they are financially secure,” Gallup said.
The poll was conducted from April 3-25 among 1,013 adults. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 points.
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