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Americans Worried About Retirement Savings, But Saving More

The proportion of Americans who are worried about not having saved enough money for retirement is increasing, according to The 2012 Scottrade American Retirement Study. At the same time, more Americans are seeking ways to save more money.

The survey found an increase in the percentage of respondents who are worried about not having enough money to meet living expenses in retirement and outliving their retirement savings. Medical expenses were a big concern, with 42% of respondents predicting they’ll have health care expenses they cannot afford, versus 38% last year. (Respondents estimated that medical expenses will account for 22% of all retirement expenditures.) Portfolio income was a bigger issue, with 41% saying their investments will not generate enough money to cover expenses, up from 32% last year. These numbers partially explain why 40% of respondents plan to work in retirement to cover expenses, up from 34% last year.

Despite these worries, Americans are not saving as much as they think they should. More than three-quarters of those surveyed said between 3% and 14% of their income should be set aside for retirement. Yet just 37% actually saved this amount in 2011, whereas 41% didn’t save any money for retirement last year.

Personal debt played a key role. Fifty-six percent of Gen Xers (ages 29–44) and 39% of Baby Boomers (ages 45–66) said at least one-fifth of their income is spent on mortgage and non-mortgage debt.

The good news is that Americans are more focused on saving more and spending less. Nearly 70% planned to spend less this year than last year, 67% plan to use coupons, 65% are comparing prices and 37% intend to save more. All of these figures represent an increase from last year.

Source: “The 2012 Scottrade American Retirement Study, Key Highlights,” Scottrade Inc.


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