One-Third of Americans Not Saving for Retirement

December 3, 2012 ( – While a majority of Americans plan to retire by age 65, 36% are not actively contributing to a retirement plan.

A survey by Capital One ShareBuilder found 54% of respondents plan to retire by age 65, but more than one-quarter (26%) are unsure how much they need to save. While confidence in the ability to save for retirement has improved (33% claim to be more confident than they were a year ago), nearly one in four (23%) are concerned they may never save enough to retire.

In addition, 23% of respondents say they do not plan to ever fully retire. One in four (25%) Americans plan to work part-time during their retirement, and that percentage increases closer to retirement age, with 40% of Americans ages 55 to 64 saying they will work part time. One-third (33%) of Americans plan to maintain their current lifestyle, while 17% plan to make sacrifices and 11% plan to improve their lifestyle; 38% said they are unsure of what lifestyle they plan to lead.

Among factors preventing Americans from saving for retirement, college tuition (20%) was the top reason cited by respondents, followed by job loss (10%) and daily household bills (14%). More than one-third (37%) of Americans say nothing has impeded their ability to save for retirement.

The national phone survey was conducted within the U.S. by TNS on behalf of Capital One ShareBuilder from September 26 to 30, 2012, among 1,000 adults ages 18 and older.