Retirement Income Sources Depend on Income, Age

May 20, 2013 ( – Both income and age affect how preretirees foresee funding for their retirement, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Gallup’s “Economy and Personal Finance” poll found that among all preretirees, or nonretirees, the top five expected sources of retirement income were: 401(k), IRA or other retirement savings account (46%); Social Security (30%); savings account or certificate of deposit (CD) (25%); and employer-sponsored pension plans (24%).

However, once the data was broken down by income ranges, patterns emerged. For those with an annual household income of $75,000 or more, the top expected sources of retirement income included: 401(k)s, IRAs and retirement savings accounts (65%); pension plans (34%); individual stocks and/or mutual funds (27%); savings account or CD (25%); and home equity (23%).

For those earning between $30,000 and $75,000, the top five expected income sources for retirement were: 401(k)s, IRAs and retirement savings accounts (44%); Social Security (33%); part-time work (26%); savings account or CD (24%); and pension plans (22%). For those earning less than $30,000, retirement income sources included: Social Security (42%); part-time work (27%); savings account or CD (27%); 401(k)s, IRAs and retirement savings accounts (26%); and home equity (17%).

The poll found only about one in five young adults expect to receive Social Security once they retire. This age group also believes that even if they do receive Social Security, the payments will be smaller or they will be required to retire at a later age in order to collect it. However, those currently approaching retirement foresee Social Security being a major part of their retirement income. Specifically, with those ages 50 to 59, Social Security (42%) almost tied with 401(k)s and IRAs (44%) as the top retirement income source, while with those ages 60 and older, Social Security was the top source of retirement income (47%).

The poll concluded that, “Wealthier Americans are primarily looking to support themselves in retirement with investments. Less wealthy Americans are much more likely to expect to rely on the Social Security system and part-time work to fund their retirements. And younger Americans, who are dubious about receiving Social Security benefits, are expecting to rely on a more varied group of sources to support themselves in retirement.”

The poll was conducted April 4 to 14, 2013, with a sample of more than 2,000 adults including more than 1,300 nonretirees. More information about the poll can be found here.