Retirement Savings: More Americans Worry They Won't Have Enough

July 06, 2010

By Barbara Marquand | Money Rates Columnist

As the recession's effects linger, worries about retirement savings grow.

About a third of Americans are concerned they won't have enough income and assets to finance their retirement, up from 25 percent in February 2009, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Social and Demographic Trends Project.

Many of those already at retirement age are putting it off. Roughly one-third of adults 62 and older who are still working say they already delayed retirement, and most workers in their 50s -- roughly 60 percent -- say they might have to delay retirement, the survey found.

So much for the golden years.

Not surprisingly, Americans are increasing their savings rates. Most, 62 percent, say they've cut back on spending in the last 2 1/2 years--since the recession began. Although most expect to return to their earlier spending levels, a sizable portion of the population -- one in three Americans -- say they'll continue to pinch pennies, even when the economy gets back on its feet, the survey says.

Pew researchers dub it "the new frugality."

Bank Rates Remain Low

Unfortunately for savers, interest rates for money market accounts, savings accounts and certificates of deposit remain ultra low and won't go up until the economy improves significantly.

Most people think that could take a while. According to the Pew survey, among those whose families lost financial ground since the end of 2007, 63 percent predict it may take at least three years to recover.

About half of homeowners say their homes declined in value in the recession and among those, half say it will take three to five years to regain value, and almost 40 percent say it will take six years or more.

Despite all that, most Americans remain optimistic. Roughly six in 10 think their personal finances will improve in the next year, and a small but growing number, 15 percent, say they think the national economy is doing well.

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