Concerns about 'my retirement' have spread to a growing number of Americans, even those at the highest wealth levels.
“My retirement may not be as comfortable as I thought it was going to be,” say a growing number of Americans, who express concerns shared by individuals at even the highest wealth levels, according to our research and a new report by a coalition called Americans for Secure Retirement.
The group polled 800 registered voters in September and found that 88 percent of the participants were worried about being able to “maintain a comfortable standard of living through my retirement.” Of these, 52 percent indicated they were “very concerned” – an increase of 15 percent from last year.
Contentious budget debates in Washington are exacerbating already high levels of concern about financing retirement, according to the poll. Half the participants opposed cuts to Medicare and Social Security because they would have too significant an impact on “my retirement.” And, 88 percent of the participants favored tax incentives to help save for retirement.
“As policymakers look for ways to address our national debt, they must find ways to generate peace of mind among Americans as they look toward retirement,” said Shannon Hunt, executive director of Americans for Secure Retirement. Concerns cut across party lines and wealth levels, and are highest among Americans who have not yet retired.
Though many of the nation’s wealthiest citizens have been insulated from the worst effects of the recession, almost all have seen their wealth decline in the past two years. Loss of wealth and income has created anxiety about retirement even among Millionaire investors. A March study by Millionaire Corner found that 46 percent of investors with $1 million to $5 worried about having set aside enough money for “my retirement.” That share grew to 62 percent for millionaires age 54 and younger.
Twelve percent of investors with $1 million through $5 million said, that “because of the current economic environment, I will be delaying my retirement,” while a similar percentage said that their employers have reduced contributions to company-sponsored retirement plans.
Nearly 10 percent say that the recession has forced them to take early withdrawals from funds set aside for “my retirement.” More than 10 percent express say their household is currently unable to save enough to meet retirement goals.
Millionaires express little confidence the ability of elected officials to work together to solve the nation’s problems, according to a September survey of 1,100 investors sponsored by Millionaire Corner. Less than 24 percent believe that President Obama’s job plan will produce the desired results. Fewer than 8 percent have faith in the ability of the Obama administration and Congress to cooperate to make a workable jobs plan.
The perceived lack of political leadership may be contributing to muted optimism about the future. More than 37 percent of the millionaires believe the nation is headed for a double dip recession. Only one-third expects to be better off financially a year from now, and 28 percent report being better off now than they were a year ago.