Data and Research

Americans Increasingly Concerned About Outliving Savings

However, Americans are not proactively addressing the financial implications of living longer in retirement.

By Rebecca Moore editors@plansponsor.com | May 24, 2016
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As life expectancies continue to climb, Americans are increasingly less confident that their savings will last through retirement.

According to the latest findings from Northwestern Mutual's 2016 Planning & Progress Study, two-thirds of Americans believe there is some chance that they will outlive their savings, with one in three (34%) saying the likelihood is 51% or better. Fourteen percent think that outliving their savings is a definite (100% likelihood). 

However, the study found Americans are not proactively addressing the financial implications of living longer. Only a fraction (21%) say they have increased their savings while more than four in 10 (44%) report having taken no steps at all.

The lack of preparation is particularly concerning given decreasing confidence about the future availability of Social Security. Only one-quarter of Americans (24%) say it's "extremely likely" that Social Security will be there when they retire. Nearly three in 10 (28%) listed Social Security uncertainty among the greatest obstacles to achieving financial security in retirement. Just one-third of non-retired Americans (35%) expect that Social Security will be their sole or primary source of retirement income compared to nearly half of current retirees (49%).

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