85% of Americans Say Retirement Finances Make Them Stressed – Here’s What You Can Do To Better Prepare

Portrait of an old elderly Asian man holds the head with his hand cause of stress after try to use a computer laptop in the backyard after retired. Concept of Ageism and Hobbies after retirement. stock photo
Prot Tachapanit / iStock.com

Retirement, if we’re lucky, comes for us all. And yet half of Americans don’t have enough money saved to retire. It’s no wonder that so many feel unprepared and stressed out about retiring.

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According to a new financial well-being poll by the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), which surveyed Americans on various issues related to a person’s financial past, present, and future, including retirement savings, 85% of respondents said that some part of their personal finances was causing them stress. Of that group, 31% said that concern was “having enough saved for retirement.”

Americans’ retirement savings were also affected by the pandemic — in some cases negatively. The poll found that 70% of respondents said they made financial adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of that 70%, 21% took from emergency savings or borrowed against retirement savings.  

Though it could seem like it’s too late to continue (or begin) one’s financial education once nearing or entering retirement, it could help Americans feel more ready for retirement. In another poll by NEFE, this one regarding financial education mandates, 80% of American adults said they wish they were required to complete a semester or year-long course focused on personal finance education in high school. Eighty-eight percent said their state should require a semester- or year-long course for high school graduation.

Retire Comfortably

Finance experts strongly recommend hitting the books (and podcasts) once reaching one’s golden years. Staying educated can help you maximize your Social Security benefits, plan for healthcare costs, fight inflation and more

Take Our Poll: Do You Think You Will Be Able To Retire at Age 65?

And even if it feels like time is running out, there are still moves future retirees can make to maximize their savings potential.   

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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