Americans Need Financial Help, Report Being behind on Retirement Savings

May 3, 2010 ( – Fifty-seven percent of people surveyed by TD AMERITRADE report they are either a little or far behind financially in terms of preparation for retirement.

Of those, 36% are a little behind where they want to be, and 21% are far behind where they want to be, according to a press release. The survey found more than half (54%) of women feel they need professional investment guidance, compared to 46% of men.

Eleven percent of female breadwinners report they need a lot of guidance from a professional when it comes to reaching their goals for retirement, compared to 6% of male breadwinners who report the same.  

Of the 57% who reported they were behind in their retirement savings, 56% said the reason is that they have little or no money left for savings after meeting their regular expenses, 56% indicated they started saving for retirement later in life, and 61% of women and 43% of men said raising children set them back.  

More than half of respondents (54%) of all respondents expect to contribute more often to a retirement account in 2010.  

On a scale of 1-10 where 10 is “extreme stress”, 10% of women reported “extreme stress” in managing their retirement savings compared to 4% of men who reported the same. Nearly a quarter (24%) of those surveyed reported their biggest concern as they approach retirement is having to work longer to supplement social security income, and 19% cited outliving their savings.  

Forty-seven percent of women indicated “having to work longer to supplement Social Security income” is their top concern as they near retirement, followed by “coping with health care expenses” (38%). Forty-two percent of men identified “outliving savings” as their top concern as they approach retirement, followed by “coping with health care expenses” (38%).  

The findings are based on a survey conducted by Infogroup | ORC of Princeton, New Jersey on behalf of TD AMERITRADE among 1,058 adults, employed full time, part time or self employed, February 18-22 and 25-26, 2010.   

Full results can be downloaded from here.