Americans: Want Us to Save More for Retirement? How about a Raise?

October 4, 2005 ( - After years of hearing dire warnings that their retirement savings are woefully inadequate, Americans now insist their savings are adequate for now given the resources they have.

In fact, respondents to Allstate’s fifth annual Retirement Reality Check survey asserted, for them to set aside more for retirement than they are doing now, their income would have to go up and the economy would have to improve, according to an Allstate news release .

Not only that, but those polled for the latest survey said their current financial obligations have them stretched thin – at least until they can pay for their children’s tuition. They will worry about retirement when everyone has graduated, the respondents insisted.

Even though a large majority of respondents said they were educated about investments (71%) and good savers (78%), more than half of respondents 56% said their total savings and investments (not counting their home) is less than $100,000. Some 53% reported have less than $75,000 in a retirement savings account.

Seven in 10 pronounced themselves as good savers, but 64% said they still felt overwhelmed about how they were going to finance their retirement and 58% fretted that they would last longer than their retirement savings.

Savings Triggers

One thing respondents were clear about: Simply urging them to save more for retirement wasn’t going to work. Some 84% said the most effective savings trigger would be making more money, while 71% said their advancing age and approaching retirement would prompt them to set aside more. Six in 10 said they would bump up their savings as soon as their children graduate college. Some 60% said an improving economy would also be a retirement savings trigger.

Among respondents from households with annual income of $150,000 or more, 78% said they would save more if they got a salary increase. That compares with 84% of respondents from households with annual incomes of less than $55,000.

Among Generation X, those born from 1965 to 1978, more than half (55%) said marriage would prompt them to start saving for retirement, compared with only 32% of Baby Boomers, born from 1946 to 1964. Some 39% of Gen-Xers cited birth of a child, compared with 20% of Baby Boomers.

More information about the survey results is here .