Americans Cut Costs to Save For Retirement

February 28, 2012 ( – Americans are cutting simple costs to help save more for retirement. 

A survey from Scottrade, Inc. found that Americans are taking action by comparison shopping, using coupons and generally cutting back on unessential expenses such as clothing or entertainment.

In order to reduce their financial concerns this year:

•  Sixty-nine percent are spending less, compared to 63% in 2011;

•  Sixty-seven percent are using coupons, compared to 59% in 2011; and

•  Sixty-five percent compare prices to find the best deal, compared to 58% in 2011. 


The survey data indicates Americans’ uncertainty stems from debt. Weighed down by non-mortgage debt, this year, more Americans—40% compared to 33% in 2011—reported it caused them to save less for retirement. And the trend is expected to continue with 34% stating that non-mortgage debt will cause them to save less for retirement in 2012.

Only 5% of Americans recommend saving 2% or less annually for retirement, yet 55% of Americans reported saving 2% or less in 2011 and 33% plan to save 2% or less in 2012.

Despite these concerns, the majority of Americans, 72%, said they are confident in their own abilities to plan for retirement. Overall 61% of respondents expect to be able to completely retire—and not work again—between the ages of 45 and 74. Fifteen percent of the survey’s respondents have already retired, with the majority doing so between the ages of 45 and 74.

The survey was commissioned by Scottrade and conducted online by Synovate. The survey was fielded with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents January 5-9, 2012.