Retirement’s Greatest Threat: 25% of Americans Now Point to This Economic Factor

man and woman looking at document in front of laptop in the kitchen
WAYHOME studio /

Americans have many concerns about saving for retirement. Right now, rapid inflation is topping the list, according to a new survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America. In 2020, only 8% of Americans polled cited inflation as a concern. Today, that number has risen to 25%, reported.

Other retirement risks on the list included:

  • Outliving their money (8%)
  • Increased health-care costs (8%)
  • Job security (7%)

These statistics — and the vast percentage of people who put inflation at the top of their list — are not surprising if you’ve been following headlines. Inflation rose by 6.8% in November, the fastest increase since 1982 based on Consumer Price Index data.

With higher prices driven primarily by food and energy, inflation is already a problem for those currently in retirement. Kelly LaVigne, vice president of consumer insights at Allianz Life, pointed out that rapid inflation could force older Americans to choose between buying food, prescriptions or paying their rent.

LaVigne stated that even if inflation stayed stable at 3%, the cost of living would double over 24 years. That makes saving more money for retirement a critical factor for those in their 30s, 40s, 50s and older. Even so — and despite their fears of inflation — only 12% of people polled have included financial planning as part of their 2022 New Year’s resolutions. Rather, they feel they already have an adequate plan in place.

Are You Retirement Ready?

Last year, 27% of people said they planned to seek professional financial advice in the New Year. The pandemic brought to light many people’s fears about their ongoing financial security and their investments. This year, only 22% said they plan to seek help from a financial planner, in spite of fears of inflation putting their retirement savings in jeopardy.

LaVigne mentioned to CNBC that working with a financial planner could put some fears to rest. “You want to make sure you have some kind of an idea and have some professional advice on what you should do rather than panicking right now.”

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