Poll: Retirement hopes — and fears

Data: SurveyMonkey online poll with a margin of error of ±2.5 percentage points; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Americans' sentiments about retirement illustrate the impact of growing socio-economic inequality in the country.

The bottom line: Inequality is cyclical. Poorer, less educated, marginalized Americans face more hurdles to reaching a comfortable retirement. Meanwhile, wealthier Americans are more likely to have the luxury of retiring or working as long as they want.

69% of adults who make more than $100,000 annually said they were hopeful about their retirement versus 49% of those whose income is less than $50,000, according to an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

The big picture: U.S. jobs with the highest median ages — signaling more elderly employees — range from CEOs with a median annual income of $183,300 to motor vehicle operators who make a median of $26,600 a year, as Axios has reported.

  • Elderly people in high-paying, less physically demanding jobs are able to keep working and making more money to fund a nicer retirement.
  • Meanwhile Americans with lower incomes are more likely to have health problems, preventing them from working longer to save more for retirement.
  • "They're the ones who could benefit the most from working longer. But they are the ones who are least able to work longer," Urban Institute's Program on Retirement Policy director Richard Johnson told Axios.

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