An astonishing one of five workers actually knows what his or her retirement income will be upon retirement, highlights the AXA Equitable Retirement Scope Survey findings. At the same time, knowing that Social Security is an important income element for retirees, 90% view it as "in trouble" or "in crisis."

AXA polled more than 6,900 people in 11 countries regarding work, life, money and retirement.

American workers are very optimistic about retirement, most likely because their parents did well upon retirement. U.S. retirees report an average $4,243 in monthly income, more than any other country's average in the study. Americans are ahead of the whole world in preparing for retirement, as 85% of working Americans have already started planning for it.

Another interesting finding of the survey is that Americans plan to spend their retirement savings and not pass the money on to their heirs. In fact, 64% of those Americans polled expected to spend their retirement savings. Only one-third plans to pass it to their heirs.

"Overall, our survey findings suggest that Americans are confident - but realistic - about the financial outlook for retirement," said Ken Gelman, vice president and director of market research for AXA Equitable. "Respondents expressed a fair amount of optimism about their incomes and living standards in retirement, but they seem to understand that much preparation and planning are necessary to achieve these goals.

This survey is an effort on the part of AXA to enhance its understanding of the issues, perceptions, concerns and wishes surrounding retirement so that it can provide innovative financial and retirement services.

"Retirement is becoming a reality for a rapidly increasing number of Americans. The more we know about their perceptions, the better equipped we are to help them approach this life chapter with confidence by leveraging opportunities for managing, growing and protecting their assets," said Gelman.

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