The lion’s share of Middle Americans have not prepared for retirement income, according to a survey from ING US Financial Services.

The 2004 Retirement Readiness & Middle America Survey showed that 65% of Americans do not know what their monthly budget should be after retirement and have not planned to collect a "retirement paycheck." And 61% said that they are not confident they will receive Social Security benefits during retirement.

"Middle Americans need to get with it. These key findings are ‘double trouble’ in terms of individuals and their retirement -- the majority have no plan as to how to pay themselves, and they also don't have much confidence in Social Security as a resource," says Kathleen Murphy, president of ING US Institutional Financial Services. "While savings is a start, Middle Americans need to have more focus on the finish line."

Americans needs to adopt the concept of "paying themselves" throughout their lives, starting while they are working by paying themselves first by saving for retirement, Murphy said. Then, this needs to continue into retirement because retirees cannot count on the same sources of retirement income that previous generations have, such as pensions.

Therefore, saving alone is not enough, and Americans need to take the next step and actually plan for retirement. Signs indicate that retirees are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, as 56% of current retirees said they planned ahead on how to convert savings into retirement income, nearly double the 32% who said the same two years ago.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.