Survey: Americans Not Confident About Retirement Nest Egg

September 26, 2005 ( - A third of Americans in a recent poll said they feared not having saved enough to retire comfortably.

A report on the Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive survey said that another 27% don’t think they’ll have enough saved and 39% aren’t sure.

One’s gender apparently makes a significant difference. Nearly half of men ages 18-34 expect to have enough money saved to retire comfortably, compared with just under a third of women in the same age range. Fewer than a quarter of men ages 45-54 and only 10% of women ages 55 and over think they will have saved enough money.

Meanwhile, fewer than half of respondents were in their workplace retirement program. About 45% of working adults who were polled reported that they participate in a 401(k) or 403(b) plan.

Thirty-five percent say such plans aren’t available to them and another 14% say they have chosen not to participate in a 401(k) or 403(b). Americans in lower income brackets are less likely to participate: 22% of those who make less than $35,000 a year participate in the plans, compared with 66% of those who make $75,000 or more.

The poll also asked about willingness to participate in the new Roth 401(k)/403(b) plans that companies can begin offering starting Jan. 1, 2006. Fifty-five percent of those not already retired say they would be likely to participate in such a plan, but that number falls to 36% for those over age 55.

The online poll covered 1,772 US adults who are primary or secondary financial decision makers in their households.