BOSTON - Telling Americans to calculate the amount they need to save for retirement may not work for most people, because the numbers are too overwhelming, according to a recent Putnam Investments survey.
The survey of 1,000 adults found that 55%, including 60% of baby boomers now in their 40s, "got very discouraged" when they heard calculations of how much money is needed for retirement. This may help explain why 61% of non-retired Americans said they have not determined how much they will need and why 59% of those already retired did not estimate retirement financial needs prior to retirement.
The findings may also explain why 53% of respondents said they expected a retirement savings crisis to occur in America with too many baby boomers outliving their savings.
While strongly pessimistic in their outlook for others and for the nation as a whole, the Putnam survey revealed that many Americans are not so pessimistic about their own chances for a comfortable retirement. Nearly half (42%) of those surveyed and 58% of baby boomers in their 40s thought they could personally face a retirement savings crisis.
Almost two-thirds of Americans said they are "not worried" about having enough money to live on during retirement, despite not knowing how much retirement replacement income they will actually need.