TIAA-CREF just released a study that shows retirement security is top of mind for nearly three-quarters of respondents. Forty percent (40%) name as their top retirement goal ensuring that their retirement savings are safe regardless of what happens in the stock market. Just over one-third (34%) name having sufficient guaranteed monthly income to cover living costs in retirement as the top priority.
TIAA-CREF's survey highlights some key disconnects among participants:
- 72% of participants either do not have a retirement income option in their plan or are unclear as to whether the plan has it or not
- Experts often suggest that retirees need between 70% and 90% of preretirement income to retire comfortably, but only 21% of survey respondents said they need more than 75%
- A significant 44% of respondents are very or somewhat concerned about running out of savings in retirement
- Retirement plans that focus on accumulation rather than income are unlikely to meet participant goals
An article in the New York Times today noted that many restaurants and retailers that focus on the middle market are struggling. The higher-end stores and value-centered stores are doing better. The findings from the TIAA-CREF survey are an indirect but logical extension of the challenges many middle-income families are trying to address, and something policy makers and legislators should consider.