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AARP Bulletin Survey on Retirement Savings: Executive Summary

The AARP Bulletin commissioned a nationwide survey in February 2009 to find out if and how Americans are changing their general savings and retirement savings behaviors. It also explored whether people plan to save or spend the 2009 stimulus payout.

This executive summary reports that:

  • Most adults have started to cut back on spending or save more money in the past 12 months.
  • The most popular reason for cutting back on spending or saving more is to have more money available in case of an emergency.
  • Of those who have started cutting back on spending or saving more, 73 percent are doing so in order to save more money for retirement.
  • Approximately half (51%) indicate that they (or their spouse or partner) are saving for retirement.
  • The most common types of accounts utilized for retirement savings remain the 401(k) and IRA.
  • Of those currently saving for retirement, recent savings changes include putting less money into retirement accounts and moving savings into less risky investments.
  • Almost two-thirds of respondents (63%) plan to spend at least some of the 2009 stimulus benefit.

This study was conducted for AARP via telephone by International Communications Research. A nationally representative sample of 1,035 adults ages 25 and older completed interviews between February 27th and March 8th, 2009, For additional information, contact the report's author, Rebecca Perron, at 202-434-6324. (7 pages)