Survey: Why American Retirement is Getting Harder to Achieve

Many long-standing issues continue to play a major role in the readiness of American seniors to put their career behind them and welcome a stable and secure retirement, but recently the situation has been exacerbated by global events. Issues including COVID-19, a volatile stock market, increasing debt burdens and less prevalence of pensions will be major problems according to data collected by the National Institute on Retirement Security.

Navigating these issues will be essential to having a successful retirement, and some of these issues are likely problems that can be potentially mitigated by the employment of a reverse mortgage loan, depending on the individual financial situation of a particular prospect. However, many of these issues will likely be a thorn in the side of anyone who is attempting to plan a retirement, according to data collected from .

The key findings for the research of the survey are boiled down into five key issues affecting American retirement today. The first of these is that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both the concerns and plans that Americans have for retirement, according to the survey findings.

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“More than half of Americans (51%) say that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased concerns about their ability to achieve financial security in retirement,” the survey results read. “Among Americans who have changed or considered changing when they will retire, 67% say that because of COVID-19, they plan to retire later than originally planned.”

Also remaining a pronounced issue according to the results is the level of economic security older Americans feel in retirement, the survey says.

“More than two-thirds of Americans (67%) say the nation faces a retirement crisis,” the results say. “More than half (56%) are concerned that they won’t be able to achieve a financially secure retirement. Some 68% say the average worker cannot save enough on their own to guarantee a secure retirement. And 65% of current workers say it’s likely they will have to work past retirement age to have enough money to retire.”

In a time of nearly-unprecedented political polarization, something that Americans can seem to agree on is the collective worry felt when it comes to retirement issues. Survey organizers asked about the prevalence of retirement concerns along with political party affiliation, finding a general commonality in concerns felt across the political spectrum.

“The vast majority of Democrats (70%), Independents (70%) and Republicans (62%) agree that the nation faces a retirement crisis,” the survey results read. “Americans also are united in their frustration that policymakers do not understand their retirement savings struggle. When it comes to Social Security, there is strong bipartisan support for protecting this program, but mixed views about expanding it. Americans across party lines have a positive sentiment about pension plans and support making these retirement plans more available to workers.”

There is a wide level of support for the Social Security program, but support for its expansion was less resoundingly approved by respondents depending on their political affiliation. Additionally, though pension plans are dwindling, most respondents appear to support more traditional pensions over the predominant retirement account in use by younger workers, the 401K plan, according to the results.

“76% of Americans have a favorable view of defined benefit pensions,” the results read. “75% say that all workers should have access to a pension plan so they can be independent and self-reliant in retirement. 65% agree that pensions are better than 401(k) accounts for providing retirement security.”

Read the survey results at the National Institute on Retirement Security, with full breakdowns and demographic data.

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