Survey: Americans More Worried About Retirement Now Than During Recession

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Pew surveys found that more Americans are worried about their finances now than they were at the end of the Great Recession in 2009. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Pew surveys found that more Americans are worried about their finances now than they were at the end of the Great Recession in 2009. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – More Americans are worried about their finances now than they were at the end of the Great Recession in 2009.

Despite a slowly improving economy and a three-year-old stock market rebound, about four-in-ten adults (38 percent) say they are “not too” or “not at all” confident that they will have enough income and assets for their retirement, up from 25 percent in a Pew Research survey conducted in late February and March of 2009.

This is from a nationally representative survey of 2,508 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center.

In 2009 it was “Gloomy Boomers” in their mid-50s who were the most worried that they would outlive their retirement nest eggs. Today, retirement worries peak among adults in their late 30s—many of whom are the older sons and daughters of the Baby Boom generation. According to a Pew Research analysis of Federal Reserve Board data, this is also the age group that has suffered the steepest losses in household wealth in recent years.

The new Pew Research survey finds that among adults between the ages of 36 and 40, 53 percent say they are either “not too” or “not at all” confident that their income and assets will last through retirement. In contrast, only about a third (34 percent) of those ages 60 to 64 express similar concerns, as do a somewhat smaller share (27 percent) of those 18 to 22 years old.

These findings stand in sharp contrast to the age pattern that emerged when the same question was asked in a Pew Research survey conducted in 2009.

In that poll it was Baby Boomers between the ages of 51 and 55 who were the most concerned that their money would not last through their retirement years. Only 18 percent of those 36 to 40 years old were similarly worried they would fall short financially after they retire—a third of the share who express a similar concern today.

The median net worth of this group has fallen at a far greater rate than for any other age group both in the past 10 years and since the beginning of the Great Recession.

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