Retirement Concerns Escalate, 50% are Less Confident in Outlook

When the “Supercommittee” failed to reach its goal of agreeing on a debt reduction plan, some seniors may have breathed a sigh of relief, as many had expressed concern over the effect the deficit deal could have had on their financial security in retirement, reveals a recent bipartisan, national survey conducted by Lake Research Partners and Public Opinion Strategies and commissioned by Americans for Secure Retirement (ASR).

Retirement concerns continue to grow with a nearly universal anxiety about having enough to make ends meet throughout retirement, as 88% of voters are worried about “being able to maintain a comfortable standard of living throughout retirement,” with 52% indicating they are “very concerned.”

This number has jumped 15% from last year’s 73%, and is consistently high among white (86%), black (88%), and Hispanic (96%) demographics.

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Across the board, regardless of party affiliation, the majority of voters are concerned that cuts to Medicare of Social Security would have too significant an impact on retirement or that, if cuts are made, Congress must look for other ways to help Americans better plan for retirement, says ASR. Half believe lawmakers should not cut these programs at all.

“What we’re seeing is significant, and increasing, concern from Americans of all political stripes about falling short financially during retirement,” said Bill McInturff, founder and partner of Public Opinion Strategies. “Not only are Americans concerned about their own financial health, but they also express widespread concern over how the continued contentious debate in Washington could further undermine what they are planning for in retirement.”

Many respondents, at 88%, are in favor of proposals such as tax advantages to incentivize saving for retirement, and about 80% agree those tax incentives would also encourage people to buy a home or use financial tools to provide ongoing income throughout retirement.

“As policymakers look for ways to address our national debt, they must find ways to generate peace of mind among Americans as they look toward retirement,” said Shannon Hunt, Executive Director of Americans for Secure Retirement, in a statement. “Promoting solutions that provide guaranteed lifetime income—for example, annuities—would go a long way toward balancing these concerns.”

View the Americans for Secure Retirement survey.

Written by Alyssa Gerace