BLOOMINGTON, Ill., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The sluggish economic recovery may have put many Americans on a back foot when it comes to saving enough to retire when they would like to, but a recent COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey sheds light on a more concerning factor. One in four (25 percent) Americans, across all age groups, admit they are not saving at all for retirement, or they are unsure.
Even more alarming are the four in ten (38 percent) of those 40 and older who say they regret decisions they've made with their retirement savings, namely not starting to save early enough (47 percent). Perhaps this is why Americans are not confident that a secure retirement is a viable option. Nearly half (46 percent) say it's not possible for a typical middle-income family to save for a secure retirement. This is two points higher than this time last year and the most to say this since March 2011.
"It's a real wake up call to see that so many Americans are not putting money towards their nest egg and are, in turn, generally concerned about retirement prospects," says Troy Frerichs, director of wealth management at COUNTRY Financial. "My advice to those Americans who haven't begun saving, and to those who have is save early and save often. Making retirement a priority is an important step in achieving long-term financial security and avoiding what appears to be the coming retirement crisis."
Americans' Saving Strategy All Wrong
Americans may be wary of their retirement prospects not only because many are not saving, but also of those who are, they are not taking the proper steps to set themselves up for success in their golden years.
- A majority (55 percent) say they are not or do not know if they participate in a 401k.
- Twenty-nine percent say a 401k is the primary way they are saving, however, most lack a diversified retirement portfolio as just 17 percent say they are using at least two different savings vehicles.
- Of the 45 percent who do have a 401k, nearly one-third (30 percent) do not know where their contributions are invested.
The silver lining here, though, is that many Americans (43 percent) say they check the health of their retirement savings every few months.
"It's great that Americans are consistently checking the health of their retirement savings, but you have to do more than just look. Knowing where your money is going and how to diversify your savings so you are set up well for your golden years is crucial," continues Frerichs.
Time Doesn't Buy Confidence
Despite having more time to prep for their golden years, twenty and thirty-somethings are even more pessimistic about their retirement prospects.
- One in three (32 percent) of those ages 18 to 29 are not saving for retirement or are not sure, more than any other age groups.
- More adults ages 30 to 39 say it's not possible for a typical middle-income family to save for a secure retirement than any other age group (47 percent).
- Of the 44 percent of 18 to 29 year-olds who participate in a 401k plan, 39 percent say they do not know where their contributions are invested.
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The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index® has measured Americans' sentiments of their personal financial security. The COUNTRY Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com and on Twitter at @FinanceSecure.
The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone and online survey of at least 3,000 Americans.
The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
About COUNTRY Financial
COUNTRY Financial (www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home, life and business insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.
SOURCE COUNTRY Financial