Poll Reveals Most are Worried About Retirement Finances

May 1, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Gallup's annual poll on personal finances reveals that 60% of Americans are very or moderately worried they will not have enough money for retirement.

According to a Gallup news release, 71% of those polled say they have enough money to live comfortably currently, including 77% of current retirees and 69% of non-retirees. However, just 50% of non-retirees expect to have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.

The poll finds 55% of current retirees say that Social Security is a “major source” of their retirement funding, while only 25% of non-retirees expect it to be, the release said. Current retirees are also more likely to cite a work-sponsored pension plan as a major source of their income, while non-retirees are less likely to expect the same.

Combining the questions of living comfortably now and expecting to live comfortably in retirement yields the following results:

  • 44% of non-retirees are living comfortably now and expect to do so in retirement.
  • 25% say they are living comfortably now, but do not expect to be doing so in retirement.
  • 25% are not living comfortably now and do not expect to be doing so in retirement.
  • 6% are not living comfortably now, but expect they will be in retirement.

Not surprisingly, the poll found a relation between Americans economic resources now and their expectations for retirement. Just 18% of those in low-income households (less than $30,000) say they are comfortable now and will be in retirement, compared with 45% in middle-income households ($30,000 to $74,999) and 61% among those in upper-income households ($75,000 or above).

Among non-retirees, 401(k) plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are the most commonly cited major source of expected retirement income. The majority of stockowners (53%) feel they will live comfortably in retirement, while only 31% of non-owners do. In addition, 64% of stockowners whose investments made money last year are optimistic about retirement, compared with 39% whose investments lost money or stayed even.

The poll also found a relationship between marital status and expectations for retirement. Forty-nine percent of those who are married or living with a partner expect to be living comfortably in retirement, as do 44% of those who have never married. The picture is bleaker among those who are divorced or separated – just 23% are optimistic about retirement, while nearly half (45%) say they do not expect to live comfortably then.

Younger non-retirees are more optimistic about being comfortable in retirement than older non-retirees.

Poll results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,005 adults (702 non-retirees and 303 retirees), aged 18 and older, conducted April 10-13, 2006.

More about the poll is here .