Aug 3, 2023 - News

Retirement anxieties in Northwest Arkansas

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Axios Visuals

Most Americans want to retire, but only half feel they're able to save for the future.

The big picture: Many people in the U.S. say they are unprepared for retirement, unsure how to prepare and unsure if they even want to fully retire, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

  • One in 5 say they don't think they will ever retire.
  • Just 36% of those 55 and older — nearing typical retirement age — say they'll be able to retire as planned.

By the numbers: 30% of people still working plan to use a pension to help fund their retirement, compared to 54% of retirees who say they're using pension money, Axios' Erica Pandey writes.

  • On top of that, "roughly half the workforce — we're talking 50-plus million people — work for an employer that doesn't offer a retirement plan," David John, a senior policy advisor at AARP, tells Axios. That could mean a small business or gig work.

What they're saying: Survey responses from NWA readers indicated those doing well in retirement have multiple income sources.

  • Terry, 73, of Rogers told Axios they're doing well because they have rental income to supplement Social Security.
  • "I don't feel like I have to maintain the same lifestyle," says Kate B., 65, of Bentonville. "I have paid off all my debt, including my house, so my expenses will be low. I don't really plan to live an extravagant retirement — my garden, grandkids, and some domestic travel is good enough. I will have Social Security and a part-time job — I plan to work part time for another five years or so until 70. Then, (I) will draw on my 401k to make up the difference."

Zoom in: While Americans say retirement is on their minds, they're not likely to talk about it with others.

  • 60% say they consider how they might be able to afford retirement often or sometimes, but 41% have never discussed saving for retirement with friends and 57% have never spoken about it with a financial planner.

The bottom line: Retirement remains a goal for most Americans. Of those who have retired, 68% say they feel better than ever.


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