The percentage of Americans at risk of having to cope with lower living standards in retirement has risen to 51%, seven percentage points higher than the 44% last measured in 2007, the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found. And the figures would be even higher if they accounted for healthcare and long-term care, the center said.

Among low-income households, the percentage at risk is 60%, among middle-income it is 47%, and for high-income it is 42%.

And Nationwide Mutual Insurance, which underwrote the research for the National Retirement Risk Index, has found that many investors are becoming disengaged about planning for retirement. Twenty-five percent fewer people say they would seek advice before making investment decisions, and 60% less agree that retirement income is important.

“We are clearly facing a retirement crisis, one that will continue to grow as younger workers age,” said center Director Alicia H. Munnell. Both the center and Nationwide are calling on investors and their advisers to proactively prepare for retirement, particularly for advisers to empathize with their clients’ frustration and cynicism. Specifically, the organizations recommend that people save and invest more, reduce debt and work longer.


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