Personal Finance

More Americans pessimistic about retirement: Gallup

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(Getty Images)

More Americans are pessimistic about retirement than at any point in the past decade, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. 

The survey showed that 43 percent of current nonretirees expect to live comfortably in retirement, a drop of 5 points from last year and the lowest since 2012, when the figure was 38 percent. The optimism over retiring comfortably had hit a recent high of 57 percent in 2019, before the pandemic.

But the percentage of current retirees who indicated that they are living comfortably was much higher: 77 percent. That percentage has stayed relatively stable over the two decades that Gallup has polled the question. 

Pollsters found some disparities in different demographics’ optimism about retirement. Half of men polled said they expect to live comfortably, but only 36 percent of women said the same. 

A majority of those 18-29 years old said they expect to have enough money to live comfortably, while just less than 40 percent of those 30-49 and 50-64 said they do. Almost 60 percent of respondents with a college degree said they expect comfortable retirement, but only 35 percent of non-college graduates said they think they will have comfortable living. 

The poll also noted a gap between the different sources of funding that current retirees rely on and that nonretirees expect to rely on. 

Almost 60 percent of retirees said Social Security makes up a major source of their retirement income, but only a third of nonretirees said they expect it to be for them. Work-sponsored pension plans were the second-most common source of retirees’ income, listed by 28 percent of respondents.

More nonretirees (48 percent) expect to rely on a 401(k), individual retirement account, Keogh plan or retirement savings account than any other source. These private accounts were listed as the third-most common source of retirement income by retirees. 

Gallup said in its analysis that the drop in nonretirees’ expectations might be a result of their difficulty saving money while prices are high with inflation and uncertainty about the future of Social Security. An analysis earlier this year indicated that the largest trust fund for Social Security could run out as soon as 2033. 

“Meanwhile, current retirees’ reports of living comfortably are unshaken, with a strong majority continuing to report that they are financially secure,” Gallup said. 

The poll was conducted from April 3-25 among 1,013 adults. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Tags 401(k) Gallup Retirement savings social security

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