Americans Lack Saving and Investing Confidence

The majority of Americans think saving for retirement today is more challenging than it was for their grandparents, in part because investing is more complex.

Only 75% of Americans are saving for retirement, down from 80% a year ago, according to the Capital One Investing 2016 Financial Freedom Survey of 1,005 U.S. adults.

Less than two-thirds (64%) are confident they are saving enough to live comfortably throughout retirement, down from 72% in 2015. Although 39% think they should be saving more than 15% of their income, only 15% are doing so. Just more than one-quarter of Americans (26%) are saving 5% or less for retirement. Among Millennials, 61% are confident they are saving enough, but 29% are saving 5% or less for retirement.

The majority of Americans (76%) think saving for retirement today is more challenging than it was for their grandparents because investing is more complex, they cannot rely on Social Security and fewer companies offer pension plans. Eighty five percent of Millennials feel this way, along with 72% of Generation X, 73% of Boomers and 69% of women. In addition, 83% of Americans think companies of all sizes should be required to offer their employees retirement savings plans.

Ninety percent of working Americans believe they should be investing for retirement, but only 75% are doing so, with many prioritizing other goals, like travel and weight loss.

Only 16% say that increasing their retirement savings is a top priority for 2016, while 27% says traveling to a new destination is their top goal, and 23% cite weight loss. Among Millennials, only 11% say growing their nest egg is their top goal, compared to 31% who prioritize travel and 22% who hope most to buy a home. For Baby Boomers, only 21% put retirement savings ahead of losing weight (30%).

NEXT: Lack of investing confidence

Forty-two percent of Americans say industry jargon prevents them from investing with confidence, while 41% say a lack of transparency in pricing causes them to lack confidence. Half of investors say a lack of knowledge or experience causes them to lack confidence, and 60% of Millennial investors say this causes them to feel less confident about investing.

Even among those investors who consider themselves self-directed, 39% prefer to work with an adviser to create a portfolio, 34% would like them to perform financial planning, and 36% would like them to rebalance their portfolios.

Most investors, including Millennials, want access to both human support and digital investing tools when planning for the future. More than half of investors (52%) rely on a financial adviser. When there are market fluctuations, 75% of investors would like to receive advice from an adviser, either by phone, email or in person.

Seventy-five percent of Americans think there are benefits to robo advisers, with 33% citing 24 hour access and 25% pointing to the ability to independently manage and maintain control of their portfolio. However, 31% of Millennials question robo advisers’ accuracy, and 30% of Gen X say the lack of human oversight is a drawback.

ORC International conducted the survey for Capitol One January 21 to 24.