Retirement Concerns Now Span All Ages: Study

More and more Americans find themselves worrying for their retirement futures, even more so than at the end of the Great Recession in 2009. According to a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, middle-aged Americans in their 30s have more anxiety regarding their financial futures than those in their 50s. 

This turn-around contrasts the feelings many Americans had in 2009, where the most worry came from the Baby Boom generation. Today, it is the sons and daughters of this generation who have become uneasy.  

The Pew Research survey finds that 53% of adults between the ages 36-40 say they are “not too” or “not at all” confident they will outlive their financial assets. Only 34% of those ages 60-64 felt similar.  

According to the study, the anxiety arises from a number of factors, including the Great Recession, the housing bubble burst and missing the stock market rebound. Each of these economic setbacks have contributed to the age group’s fallen median net worth, which has fallen at a far greater rate than any other group’s in the past 10 years. 

In 2001, households headed by middle-aged Americans (ages 35-44) totaled a median wealth of $99,727. By 2010, their median wealth was $43,698, losing more money than what was left to them over a 10 year span. 

At about a 56% decline from 2001-2010, 30-year-olds have seen the steepest losses in household wealth. This loss more than doubled that of Baby Boomers ages 55-64 who experienced only a 22% decrease in median wealth since 2001.

In surveys conducted by the Gallup Organization, the percentage of adults who fear they will not have enough money to live “comfortably” in retirement has doubled from 32% in 2002 to 66% in 2011. 

Where retirement concerns peaked among adults 36-40, these worries diminished among individuals closer to retirement age, records the Pew Center.

Written by Jason Oliva

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