Being able to retire in comfort, at a relatively young age, became an essential part of the American Dream in the past century. Now, this part of the dream is under threat, and many Americans are worried.
According to polling firm Harris, a whopping 74% of American adults who are not yet retired say they worry about having enough money to retire. Nearly 70% of these worried folk say that planning for retirement is a big concern of theirs.
Worries about retirement span the generations, but young people are particularly concerned about whether Social Security will be there for them when they wish to retire. Harris said that, overall, 35% of its poll respondents say they have faith in social security being there when they retire. However, just 30% of Gen Xers say they do.
Among Millennials polled, only 27% said they had faith that Social Security would be around for them when they were ready to retire.
Seventy percent of Harris’ respondents worried about being able to pay for their health care in retirement.
Things are not likely to get much better for these Americans, since 69% of them worry they are not saving enough toward retirement. It’s not surprising, with nearly half saying they live paycheck to paycheck, and simply cannot afford to save for retirement.
The findings of this poll track with so much of the personal finance data we’ve seen in recent years: wages have not risen for most middle-class Americans, while expenses have. College expenses (and debt), are of particular concern for younger Americans, while health care, education and elder care expenses have all added up for today’s middle aged and older American workers.
While last month’s jobs report was encouraging, a deep look at the data reveals that job growth is highest in jobs at the lower end of the pay scale. If these conditions persist, this will not be the last poll that shows Americans fearing that they might never be able to afford a comfortable retirement.
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