Most not Anticipating Comfortable Retirement Years

May 12, 2008 ( - The percentage of Americans who say they will be able to live comfortably in retirement fell to 46% from 53% a year ago, Gallup found in a poll.

“Not having enough money for retirement” was the number one consumer worry as ranked in Gallup’s most recent Economy and Personal Finance poll. Sixty-three percent of Americans polled said they were very or moderately worried about not having enough money for retirement, followed by 56% who had the same level of worry that they would not be able to pay medical costs associated with a serious illness or accident and 55% who are worried they will not be able to maintain their current standard of living.

The Gallup poll also found the forces in the economy have led to individuals changing their ideas about where they will get their retirement income. Fifty-four percent of those who have yet to retire said they expect their 401(k), IRA, Keogh, or other retirement savings accounts to be a major source of income for them in retirement – up two points over last year. Social Security was the second most cited expected source of retirement income, by 31% of respondents – up from 27% a year ago.

Meanwhile, the percentage of those looking to a work-sponsored pension plan as a major source of retirement income fell from 31% last year to 26% this year, while the percentage looking to the equity in their homes for retirement income is down from 30% to 26%.

Only 17% of future retirees indicated they expect individual stocks or mutual funds to be a major source of their retirement income, down by nearly one-third from the 24% who thought these investments would be a major source for them a year ago, Gallup said. Similarly, the percentage expecting their regular savings accounts or CDs to fill this role dropped from 23% to 17%.

Gallup conducted telephone interviews with 1,021 adults, aged 18 and older, April 6-9, 2008.