Reitrees and nonretirees near equally report that they enjoy saving more than they do spending: Poll
More working Americans are confident that they are currently financially comfortable, a Gallup poll released Wednesday reports.
More than two-thirds (68 percent) of Americans surveyed self-report having enough money to live comfortably at the present time. This is up from the 12-year low registered last year, which included lows for both retirees and nonretirees.
Retirees, the survey also finds, feel more secure financially than nonretirees. Seventy-five percent said they have enough money to live comfortably vs. 67 percent of nonretirees. Since 2002, Gallup said, the average gap has been 10 percentage points in favor of retirees.
While the perception of retirees is that they struggle on fixed incomes to make ends meet, retirees, even with a reported lower household income, are more likely than their nonretired counterparts to say they have enough money to live comfortably. This may be due to the fact that retirees have lower average expenses. Only 4 percent, for example, told Gallup they have children younger than 18, compared with 39 percent of nonretirees. Thirty- to 49-year-olds—by far the most likely to have young children—consistently report the highest levels of spending.
Additionally, Gallup finds, retirees (84 percent) are much more likely than nonretirees (56 percent) to own their own home, greatly reducing their housing costs by not paying a monthly mortgage. They are also more likely to be married than nonretirees, which would provide households with a possible second source of income, such as an additional pension or Social Security payment.
Surprisingly, the poll did not find significant differences between retirees and nonretirees in spending versus saving: 60 percent of retirees and 61 percent of nonretirees said they enjoy aving more than they do spending, Gallup reported.
But nonretirees are expressing more pessimism about their financial situation when they retire. Less than half (46 percent) forecast being financially comfortable in retirement. A reflection of concerns over rising health care costs, the uncertainty over Social Security and a lack of sufficient retirement savings for many nonretirees, Gallup said.
Related story: Baby boomers face barriers to retirement savings. Click here to read more.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.