Despite Americans’ record optimism about their financial situation, most pre-retirees are anxious about saving enough for retirement, two recent polls found.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans say their personal finances are in better shape than a year ago, up from 50% who said so last year, according to a recent Gallup poll.
This year’s results are a notch higher from the previous high of 58%, reported in January 1999, Gallup says.
And 74% of Americans this year say they’ll be even better off next year, according to the poll of 1,014 adults aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, conducted in January.
And yet Charles Schwab found that 65% of pre-retirees — those who are within five years of retirement — are “overwhelmed” by saving for retirement, while 52% are overwhelmed by how they’ll manage income during retirement. Seventy-two percent worry about running out of money in retirement, 57% are stressed out about calculating how much they’ll be able to spend, 60% worry about not getting a regular paycheck and 64% are concerned about not being able to keep their current quality of life, Schwab found in a survey conducted in June and July of 2019 of 1,000 Americans aged 55 and older with $100,000 or more in investable assets.
Pre-retirees are more anxious about their retirement finances than about many other events: a much lower 41% say they consider the financial repercussions of losing a job to be stressful, for example, according to the survey. Meanwhile, 33% of pre-retirees are overwhelmed by buying a home and 27% by paying for college, presumably for their children and grandchildren.
Financial advisors may have a significant role to play in alleviating pre-retirees’ worries about retirement, meanwhile — simply by educating them. For example, 70% of those surveyed know nothing or very little about annual required minimum distributions, 70% know little to nothing about the tax implications of withdrawals from retirement accounts and 48% worry about paying too much for advice on retirement income, Schwab found.
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