Investors Aged 50 and Under Committed to Retirement Saving, but Most Need to Increase Their Savings Amounts

Some people are not sure how much they are saving

Oct 17, 2012, 10:00 ET from T. Rowe Price

BALTIMORE, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --


Despite the cross-currents of volatile global financial markets, a struggling U.S. economy, and political uncertainty, most investors aged 21-50 remain focused on saving for retirement, according to an online survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of T. Rowe Price in August 2012 among 850 adults in the United States with at least one investment account.  However, most people are not saving enough, and some are not even sure how much they are saving.

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Selected survey findings

  • Nine in ten (92%) with access to an employer's 401(k) plan are currently contributing to the plan.
  • Seven in ten (72%) said that saving for retirement is their top financial goal, followed by maintaining or improving their current lifestyle (50%), creating or adding to an emergency fund (36%), and paying off debt (34%), such as credit card balances.
  • Approximately two thirds (68%) of investors with access to a 401(k) plan are contributing 10% or less of their salaries, excluding any employer match, to their plan.  By contrast, earlier studies from T. Rowe Price recommend that investors strive to save at least 15-20% of their annual income, including any employer contributions, in order to have a reasonable possibility of living comfortably in retirement.
  • When asked what percentage of their salaries they would ideally save for retirement each year, 42% of investors said a number less than the recommended minimum benchmark of 15%.  Of equal concern, a little less than one third (29%) of survey respondents were not sure how much they are currently contributing to their retirement plan.


Christine Fahlund, CFP®, senior financial planner with T. Rowe Price:

  • "Although competing financial priorities make retirement saving difficult for many people, it's encouraging that saving for retirement remains the top financial goal for investors aged 50 and under.  However, the survey underscores the fact that many need to boost their retirement savings amount, and they also need to be more fully engaged in the savings process."
  • "Saving early in one's adulthood increases the compounding of earnings over a decades-long period.  That can significantly improve the chances that younger investors will be prepared for retirement.  Trying to make up later for lost savings time can be very difficult, at best."
  • "Many investors are getting the message, but there is a clear need for ongoing education to reinforce how important it is to save early for retirement."   

About the survey

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of T. Rowe Price from August 8-20, 2012, among 850 adults aged 21-50 who have at least one investment account.  This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.  Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, and household income were weighted, where necessary, to align them with their actual proportions in the population.

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms.  Known widely for Harris Poll and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris serves clients in 196 countries and territories through its North American and European offices and its network of independent market research firms.  For more information, please visit

About T. Rowe Price

Founded in 1937, Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price is a global investment management organization with $541.7 billion in assets under management as of June 30, 2012.  The organization provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans, and financial intermediaries.  The company also offers a variety of sophisticated investment planning and guidance tools.  The Retirement Plan Services division currently serves more than 3,500 retirement plan sponsors and more than 2 million retirement plan participants. T. Rowe Price's disciplined, risk-aware investment approach focuses on diversification, style consistency, and fundamental research.

SOURCE T. Rowe Price