The Simple Reason Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement
Money + Markets

The Simple Reason Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement


Most Americans know that they’re not saving enough for retirement, according to a new survey by Lincoln Financial Group, but they have a simple explanation for falling short: They simply don’t have enough money to save more.

The survey of more than 2,500 full-time workers found that retirement savers put away a median of 10 percent of their income, but they believe they need more -- 15 percent -- in order to be on track for retirement. Of those who are contributing less than they believe they need, nearly 60 percent said they could not afford to save more. A third of savers said that they’re contributing just enough to retirement to get their employer match, and 12 percent said they’re contributing less than that.

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Still, there is some positive news in the survey: a growing number feeling optimistic and confident about their retirement. More than half of those surveyed said that they feel confident and more than half are optimistic.

“It’s good news that retirement savers are feeling more positive about their retirement savings, but there is a real disconnect between their feelings and their actions,” Lincoln Financial Group Retirement Plan Services president Jamie Ohl said in a statement.

Of those who are savings less than they think they need, two-thirds said that they’d need to increase their savings by 5 percent or more to get on track. Student debt remains a major roadblock. Six in 10 savers who have student debt said that their loans are keeping them from saving more for retirement.

The Lincoln report is based on a survey of 2,509 full-time workers between the ages of 21 and 70 who have contributed to their  employer’s defined contribution retirement plan for at least one year.