Americans believe they’ll never have enough saved for retirement

  • last year
Seven in 10 (69%) Americans plan to retire, but of those who don't think they will, 42% believe that they will never have enough savings to do so.

That’s according to a new survey of 2,000 adults split evenly by generation, where 22% of Gen Z, 19% of millennials and 18% of Gen X don’t believe retirement is in their future.

Despite approaching their 60s, 37% of Gen Xers say they won’t be retiring within the next 10 years.

In addition to their savings concerns, respondents plan to keep working in fear that they need their income to support their family (21%) or because they started planning too late (22%).

About one-quarter (26%) admit the fact that they never started planning for retirement will likely deter them entirely.

Seven in 10 (71%) of respondents feel they are behind on certain life goals they thought they’d reach by now.

The goals include their living situation (51%), career path (47%) and starting a family (41%).

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Prudential, results found 52% also admit they’ve fallen short of the amount of retirement savings they planned to have by now.

And the retirement planning mindset varies greatly by generation. Forty-five percent of Gen Zers started thinking about retirement before the age of 20 and another 33% had it top of mind in their 20s.

On the flip side, one in 10 Gen Xers admit they still haven’t started thinking about it, more than any other generation.

Almost one-third (29%) of Gen Z think about retirement “always”, while 50% of baby boomers say it crosses their mind “often.”

However, if respondents were hypothetically to retire tomorrow, millennials feel the most prepared (71%), compared to 66% of Gen Z and 62% of Gen Xers.

“The survey data show that many Americans need help when it comes to reaching their retirement and other financial goals,” said Michelle Samuel, head of Prudential Financial's Direct-to-Consumer business. “Many people have been saving, but they want a better handle on where they are. Others aren't confident they'll be able to stop working, and they need guidance to show them a path to retirement.”

Almost one third of Americans (28%) said that they do not have a strong understanding of what to do to plan for retirement. This was not a surprising finding when many aren’t familiar with the most common financial products used in retirement planning.

More than half of Americans (59%) don’t have a 401(k), one of the primary savings vehicles for retirement. Of those who do, 21% don’t know how much money they have.

On top of that, the majority of respondents either don’t have or don’t know what IRAs (65%) or annuities (72%) are.

Two in five (42%) don’t have life insurance and another 11% don't know what it is.
Retirement is not the only area where people aren't planning in advance. Three-quarters (75%) of respondents spend less than a year planning for major financial decisions, with 15% of Gen Zers spending one week or less.