Survey: Many Say They're Being Priced Out of Retirement

Blame goes to cost of housing and everyday expenses
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 24, 2024 7:20 PM CDT
Many Americans Don't Expect to Ever Be Able to Retire: Survey

More than one-quarter of US adults over age 50 say they expect to never retire, and 70% are concerned about prices rising faster than their income, an AARP survey finds. About 1 in 4 have no retirement savings, according to research released Wednesday by the organization that shows how an aging America is worrying more about how to make ends meet—even as economists say the US economy has all but achieved a soft landing after two years of record inflation. Everyday expenses and housing costs, including rent and mortgage payments, are the biggest reasons people are unable to save for retirement, the AP reports.

The data will matter this election year as Democratic President Biden and Republican rival Donald Trump try to win support from older Americans, who historically turn out in high numbers. AARP's study, based on interviews with more than 8,000 people in coordination with the NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, finds that one-third of older adults carry a credit card balance of more than $10,000 and that 12% have a balance of $20,000 or more. Additionally, 37% are worried about meeting basic living costs such as food and housing. "Far too many people lack access to retirement savings options and this, coupled with higher prices, is making it increasingly hard for people to choose when to retire," said AARP's Indira Venkateswaran.

The share of people older than 50 who say they do not expect to retire has steadily increased. It was 23% in January 2022 and 24% that July, according to the study, which is conducted twice a year. "We are seeing an expansion of older workers staying in the workforce," said David John of the AARP Public Policy Institute. The survey showed 33% of respondents older than 50 believe their finances will be better in a year. A looming issue that will affect the ability to retire is the financial health of Social Security and Medicare. The latest annual report from trustees says the financial safety nets will run short of money to pay full benefits within a decade.

(More retirement stories.)

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