Half Say Retirement Saving Is Top Goal

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Half of all American adults view their top financial goal as making sure they have enough money to retire, finds a survey conducted in early April and released last week by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

That’s barely changed from 47 percent who said so in NEFE’s 2011 survey. These figures are unimpressive if one considers that most everyone eventually retires. Further, fewer than one in five U.S. workers has the luxury of a traditional defined benefit plan that will send them a pension check every month.

Saving for retirement hasn’t gotten any easier either: two of three adults in the NEFE survey identified an inability to save enough as a major financial obstacle. That sentiment may be one reason why only about half of private-sector U.S. workers participate in a retirement savings plan at work. But the main reason is that many private-sector workers are not offered a retirement savings plan.

Today, we live in a 401(k) world. But, for many Americans, savings activity does not reflect that reality.


So maybe we need to change the world so it is not a 401(k) world!

    Ken Pidcock

    Hey, what’s not to like about 401(k)s? Large employers don’t have to provide this important benefit, and financial firms collect tremendous fees. Um, you weren’t thinking about workers, were you?


In my opinion, this trend shows how important it is for many to ensure that they will be living comfortably and worry-free in the future and I consider this a good indication.

Dr P Ciancanelli

Social Security provides the only reliable solution to security in old age; personal saving by those earning on or around the minimum wage is impossible. Social Security taxes should be imposed on all earnings & bonuses. Inheritance tax should be abolished replaced by income tax on windfall gains such as inheritance or property above or about 500k. This would enable a reduction in the age of retirement for the cohort that is currently under the greatest stress: 54+ and over.


Reading where someone’s goal is be able to retire EVEN EARLIER just shows how out of touch many people are with the process. As we live longer and longer, we want to be able to retire even earlier???? Who is going to pay for this plan. Oh I see it is the increase in taxes……….how many times do we think that we can go to that well? I have never seen stats but I wonder how the wealthy 1% (?) would compare with the demographics of the early 1900’s. The main difference was that everyone was working. 50% of the population today is receiving some type of government subsidy. When the government (us) gave out the first payment to an “able bodied” person for doing NOTHING was the beginning of the end.


Joe: Some good observations, however the conclusion that the problem lies with the idea that payments to able bodied persons for doing nothing is way off base. Social Security payments – in part – represent our own contributions and not sure that we all should be expected to work beyond age 65. Those who are disabled may not be able to work.

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