Younger Workers Unsure About Retirement Savings

August 28, 2008 ( - A recent survey asked Americans ages 19-39 a series of questions to gauge their understanding of finances.

The largest number, 40% said they were very knowledgeable about how to use an iPod (one wonders that it wasn’t higher). That compares with about a third that said were very knowledgeable about buying a car, how to stick to a budget, and eliminating or avoiding debt (one wonders if there is a difference between knowing and doing).

At the bottom of the very knowledgeable list? How the Social Security system works (14%), saving for retirement (15%), and how to invest money outside the work place (15%).

The survey, “Preparing For Their Future: A Look at the Financial State of Gen X and Gen Y,” was sponsored by the American Savings Education Council, a program of the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), and Divided We Fail, a coalition involving AARP, the Business Roundtable, Service Employees International Union, and National Federation of Independent Business.

The survey is online at .

align="center"> Very Knowledgeable

align="center"> Somewhat Knowledgeable

align="center"> Not Too Knowledgeable

align="center"> Not At All Knowledgeable

Eliminating or avoiding debt

align="center"> 32%

align="center"> 52%

align="center"> 14%

align="center"> 3%

Buying a home

align="center"> 21%

align="center"> 41

align="center"> 27

align="center"> 11

Saving for retirement

align="center"> 15%

align="center"> 47

align="center"> 31

align="center"> 7

Buying a car

align="center"> 32%

align="center"> 53

align="center"> 12

align="center"> 3

Doing your taxes

align="center"> 26%

align="center"> 40

align="center"> 21

align="center"> 12

How the Social Security system works

align="center"> 14%

align="center"> 31

align="center"> 37

align="center"> 18

How to stick to a budget

align="center"> 32%

align="center"> 48

align="center"> 16

align="center"> 4

How to invest your money outside of the work place

align="center"> 15%

align="center"> 31

align="center"> 34

align="center"> 19

How to use an iPod

align="center"> 40%

align="center"> 27

align="center"> 15

align="center"> 18