Saving Enough for Retirement the Top Goal for 50% of Americans

Having enough money for retirement is the top financial goal half of American adults would like to achieve in their lifetime, according to poll results released by the National Endowment for Financial Education.

The retirement savings goal beat out other financial milestones such as owning a home (13% of respondents), retiring early (6%), paying for a child’s education (5%) and having money to invest (4%), finds an April 2014 study conducted by Harris Poll on the NEFE’s behalf that interviewed 2,025 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. 

Only 3% named owning a car, starting their own business, or paying off their college loans as their most important financial goal, the survey found. 

The percentage of adults naming adequate retirement resources as their top financial goal has been rising since the Great Recession, according to NEFE, increasing from 47% in 2011 to 50% in the 2014 survey.

Meanwhile, interest in achieving the traditional American Dream defined as owning a home is waning, down from 17% of respondents in 2011. 

“People are more in tune with the importance of saving for their retirement years,” said Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE, in a statement. “Economic recovery is inching forward yet many individuals and families still are experiencing difficulty getting back on track. Americans seem to be finding reassurance in more long-term financial-security-based values rather than material values.”

However people define their personal American Dream, whether it’s retirement security, homeownership, or having enough money to invest, attaining it can be challenging. 

A majority (63%) of adults agree that a significant obstacle to achieving the American Dream is an inability to save enough, with 37% in disagreement. More than half of adults (52%) said managing their debt is standing in the way of the American Dream. Still, three in five survey respondents said that in terms of their own financial situation, they feel they are achieving the American Dream. 

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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