To support the launch of their joint campaign - Saving for Retirement - AARP and the Ad Council fielded a retirement attitudes survey to 1,500 adults ages 40-59.
Key findings include:
- Respondents have consumer-savvy skills. Ninety-two percent have used various money-saving strategies including comparison shopping (68%), clipping coupons (63%), or signing up for a customer rewards program (61%).
- Nearly all (97%) had accomplished a significant financial goal, including buying a car (91%), buying a home (76%), paying off significant debt such as a student loan or mortgage (72%), or saving for a family vacation (67%).
- However, workplace-based retirement savings strategies are not widely used. Only two commonly-recommended strategies were employed by more than half of respondents – avoiding taking a loan from their retirement plan (58%) and using automatic deduction to contribute to their employer-sponsored plan (54%). Less frequently, respondents contribute enough to receive the highest company match (44%), annually increase contributions to retirement plan by even 1% (27%), put even a portion of a bonus or additional income into their retirement plan (27%), roll over an old employer-sponsored plan into another retirement plan (24%), and make catch-up contributions to their retirement plan (14%).
- Only half are even somewhat confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably through their retirement years. Only 14% are very confident.
- Nearly half (45%) would rather make an appointment with the dentist than make an appointment to see a financial advisor. Forty percent would rather save for a vacation than their retirement.
- Increasing confidence in saving for retirement can impact other areas. If they felt more confident in their retirement savings, respondents said they would also feel less stressed (54%), more financially empowered (54%), happier knowing that they are taking care of their family’s future (46%), more confident in tackling other goals or challenges (38%), better emotionally and physically (36%), happier in personal relationships (26%), and able to sleep better at night (26%).
This survey was fielded June 2-4, 2017 via GfK’s Knowledge Panel, a probability-based online survey panel representing the US adult population. Respondents were ages 40-59, had household incomes of $40,000-$99,999, and were not retired. For additional information about the survey, please contact Rebecca Perron at RPerron@aarp.org. Members of the media should contact AARP Media Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the AARP and Ad Council Saving for Retirement campaign, please visit AceYourRetirement.org.
Perron, Rebecca. AARP and Ad Council Saving for Retirement Campaign Survey. Washington, DC: AARP Research, July 2017. https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00169.001