2022 Retirement Survey Reveals Expectations, Optimism

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The 2022 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Retirement Institute has been released.  A key finding was that Americans remain optimistic about living a comfortable retirement.  The findings are set out in a slide presentation with narrative explanation.

Nearly half of workers and a third of retirees feel that their long-term financial needs are different than other households (Figure 10). However, there are goals in common — 6 in 10 workers and a third of retirees report saving and investing for retirement is among their top three longer-term financial goals. Half of retirees say planning for future health and long-term-care needs is a top priority, and more than a third of workers agree. Among both workers and retirees, about 3 in 10 say developing a strategy for drawing retirement income is a top-three goal (Figure

11 and Figure 12).

Only a third of workers and fewer than a quarter of retirees agree that retirement savings is not a priority relative to other needs of their family (Figure 13).  However, there are clearly challenges to this longer-term focus on retirement. 4 in 10 workers say that saving for or paying off a child’s college education reduces the amount they can save for retirement (Figure 14), and over 4 in 10 say that debt is negatively impacting their ability to save for retirement (Figure 15).

More than half of workers and over a third of retirees call debt a major or minor problem for their household (Figure 16). Roughly 2 in 10 workers and retirees report that developing a strategy for debt reduction is a top financial goal (Figure 11 and Figure 12).

One main point, which I thought was fascinating, was the expectations of prospective retirees as opposed to what actually happens.  For instance, “41% of workers aged 55 or older think they will retire after age 65; 29% believe they will retire at age 70 or later or never retire.  Reality differs: EBRI polled more than 1,000 retirees this spring and found that 69% had retired before age 65”.

Here is the link to the 53-page slide deck: