Poll: Many Americans Wonder How to Start Retirement Savings

March 17, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Two out of three people in a recent poll said they think about how much they'll need for retirement, yet half say calculating that number isn't easy and they don't know where to start.

According to an ING news release on their survey in conjunction with the firm’s campaign to generate more consumer awareness of the importance of retirement saving, the survey also revealed the following information on how people view their retirement nest egg number:

  • Two thirds (67%) say they think at least sometimes about how much they need to save and invest for retirement.
  • 49% say calculating that number is not easy and they wouldn’t know where to start.
  • More than half agree they’ve calculated the money needed for retirement, but more than a third (36%) say all they could do is guess.
  • 42% say they do not like thinking about their retirement nest egg and nearly as many 39% say it’s boring.

class=”BodytextING”> When asked what they should consider to calculate the amount they’ll need for retirement, over a third (37%) mentioned living expenses, ING reported. However, no other factor was cited by more than 7% of participants including:

  • Life expectancy (7%),
  • Assets/owning one’s own home (6%),
  • Health (5%),
  • Health care costs (5%), and
  • Age of retirement (5%).

The news release said the poll found that Americans view numbers relating to their sense of identity and their closest personal relationships as most important.The numbers frequently mentioned as significant are:

  • their birthday (26%),
  • someone else’s birthday (22%),
  • a Social Security number (16%),
  • a wedding anniversary (16%),
  • a phone number (13%), and
  • the number of children or siblings in one’s family (12%).

Only (5%) consider a financial number as being among those most important .

“It’s ironic that birthdays top the list of most important numbers,” noted Kathleen Murphy, CEO of U.S. Wealth Management for ING, in the release. “As people live longer and celebrate more birthdays, they also face a greater risk of outliving their retirement savings. We hope identifying and working towards one’s retirement number will be as important as achieving each additional birthday.”

class=”BodytextING”>Commissioned by ING and conducted by Ipsos in January 2008, the ING Retirement Number Study included a representative randomly selected sample of 1,008 adult Americans.

class=”BodytextING”> More information is here .