Skip to main content


Americans worried about retirement but not saving

51% of Americans don’t include saving for retirement in their long term
financial goals 

May 15, 2017

Americans report they are worried about affording retirement, but over half say they aren’t saving money to retire.

The latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® revealed that two in three Americans (67 percent) report the country’s current events are making them concerned about their financial future. Given this backdrop, it may not come as a surprise the survey also found nearly a third (32 percent) of Americans worry they either will not be able to retire or will need to delay retirement in the future.

Despite this fact, just over half of those surveyed (51 percent) do not include retirement in their long-term financial goals. This finding is further supported by the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) The State of American Retirement[1] report, which finds “nearly half of families have no retirement savings accounts at all.”

Short-term worries and long-term needs

The lack of retirement savings could in part be due to prioritizing short-term financial considerations. The survey revealed that Americans  are more concerned about affording unexpected expenses (44 percent), healthcare costs (41 percent) and taking desired vacations (36 percent) than they are about having adequate retirement savings (32 percent).

Based on your current financial situation, what are your concerns
for the future?
Affording unexpected expenses 44%
Affording healthcare costs 41%
Taking desired vacations 36%
Attaining desired lifestyle 28%
Maintaining monthly payments 28%
Never being able to retire 22%
Lacking financial independence 21%
Delaying retirement 21%
Affording child(ren)'s tuition 15%
Current or future childcare/child rearing costs 14%
Setting a poor financial example for the people around me 8%
Other 3%
Don't know 2%
I am not concerned about anything for the future related to my financial

When does 'long-term' start?

“Many people today are outliving their assets because they did not include retirement in their long-term financial goals,” said Doyle Williams, an executive vice president at COUNTRY Financial. “Americans need to seek financial guidance now so they can eliminate the fear of never being able to retire. By taking some simple steps almost everyone can put a plan in place to secure their financial future.” 

Living longer

With advancements in healthcare, it is not uncommon for people to spend more years in retirement than previous generations. For planning purposes, a good rule of thumb is to assume living to about age 90 unless health or family history indicate otherwise. Moreover, the desired standard of living during retirement will influence how much money you will need. It is advised that you plan on at least 75 percent of your pre-retirement income to pay for living expenses during retirement.


About The COUNTRY Financial Security Index®

Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans' sentiments of their personal financial security. The Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data for the most current Index findings is available here.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index was created by COUNTRY Financial. This survey was conducted by EMC Research, Inc., an independent research firm, commissioned by COUNTRY Financial. Surveys were conducted using a national online research panel designed to be representative of the general population and includes responses from 1,000 U.S. adults over the age of 18 for national surveys with additional interviews completed in Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and Oregon to bring the total in each of those states to 500 completed surveys.