One in five Americans think they will never retire, according to a new poll.
Some 20 percent of adults in the US fear they will never be able to retire – of them 70 percent said the reason was that they wouldn’t be able to afford it.
The survey – by Axios and research group Ipsos – asked 1,238 adults, 210 of whom were older than 55, a variety of retirement related questions.
Almost half the respondents under 55, around 44 percent, said they have had to change their retirement plans due to economic factors out of their control and only 36 percent older than 55 thought they would be able to retire when they had planned.
Many people said they didn’t have faith that Social Security would cover their bills – 37 percent of Americans who aren’t retired said they thought Social Security would probably cover less than a quarter of their expenses in retirement.
And while a large minority many Americans are saying they don’t expect they will ever be able to afford retirement, the vast majority said they thought retirement would make them feel better.
Around 63 percent of non-retirees predicted they would feel better upon retirement and 68 percent said they in fact did feel better having retired.
And of those that had already retired, just 37 percent of people said Social Security covered less than half of their expenses – five percent said it covered all their expenses.
While the vast majority of those that couldn’t see themselves retiring for financial reasons, around 20 percent of respondents said they simply didn’t want to.
And more than half of current retirees, 54 percent, said they use a pension for retirement income. Another 50 percent said they use retirement accounts like a 401(k) or IRA.
In comparison, 30 percent of respondents who aren’t retired said they plan to use a pension and 66 percent plan to use retirement accounts.
The feedback from respondents to the survey aligns with various reports that Americans are not saving enough money to be able to afford retirement.
A report from investment firm Vanguard found that in 2022 the average balance in its 401(k) accounts was $112,572, down 20 percent from the $141,542 average recorded in 2021.
The median balance was much lower, at $27,376, a decline of 23 percent from the 2021 median. The wide gap between average and median balances reflects a small number of very large accounts skewing the average higher.
Retirement accounts dwindled in 2022 primarily due to a broad decline in stock and bond markets last year. However, good news for workers was that markets made some gains in the first half of 2023, boosting retirement accounts back up.