Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Published: Apr 26, 2024 4 min read
A cake with 'retirement' written on it in sprinkles
Olive Burd / Money; Getty Images

Financial news in recent years might have seemed like a perpetual cycle of doom and gloom, brought on by surging inflation and the cost-of-living crisis accompanying it. But now, Americans are starting to regain confidence in their prospects for the future.

Results from a new retirement survey indicates that a majority of American workers and retirees believe they will have the money to fund a comfortable retirement. Driving this positivity are the dual factors of careful planning by workers and belief in the future of Social Security.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
Protect your retirement with a Reverse Mortgage
If you are over 62, a Reverse Mortgage from AAG (NMLS# 2285) can help you take care of expenses or even invest in things that will improve your quality of life. Click on your state to learn more.
HawaiiAlaskaFloridaSouth CarolinaGeorgiaAlabamaNorth CarolinaTennesseeRIRhode IslandCTConnecticutMAMassachusettsMaineNHNew HampshireVTVermontNew YorkNJNew JerseyDEDelawareMDMarylandWest VirginiaOhioMichiganArizonaNevadaUtahColoradoNew MexicoSouth DakotaIowaIndianaIllinoisMinnesotaWisconsinMissouriLouisianaVirginiaDCWashington DCIdahoCaliforniaNorth DakotaWashingtonOregonMontanaWyomingNebraskaKansasOklahomaPennsylvaniaKentuckyMississippiArkansasTexas
Learn More

Optimism reigns thanks to savings plans, safety nets

The Employee Benefit Research Institute published the 2024 edition of its annual Retirement Confidence Survey in conjunction with Greenwald Research on Thursday. The findings were based on a poll of roughly 2,500 people, half of them workers and half of them retirees.

In the report, nearly 68% workers and 74% of retirees express confidence in having enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement. These figures are a slight improvement over last year's results, which saw a marked decline in both worker and retiree confidence from 2022; last year, only 64% of workers and 73% of retirees said they were confident in their ability to sustain themselves in retirement.

What's changed? The EBRI cites wage growth as one element. After runaway inflation in 2022, last year saw wage growth outpacing the growth of inflation once again. About 3 in 10 workers and retirees alike now say they feel confident because of their income and asset stability.

However, inflation remains a top concern for those not feeling secure about affording a comfortable retirement. Three in 10 unconfident workers and 4 in 10 unconfident retirees express concern that inflation will affect their retirement.

The second-largest worry for these workers and retirees is a lack of retirement savings. On a positive note, though, calculating those savings has proven to be a catalyst for saving more: Half of Americans surveyed say they've done the math on how much money they need for retirement, and 52% of workers and 44% of retirees say they started to save more in reaction to what they found. What's more, over half of all workers say they plan to work for pay in retirement, easing themselves in gradually.

Another key finding of the report is Americans' continued optimism that Social Security and other government safety nets will remain intact in the foreseeable future, playing a big role in maintaining their lifestyle through retirement.

About 9 in 10 workers say they expect to tap Social Security as a source of income in retirement, and 91% of existing retirees say they use it as a source of income already.

Additionally, 8 in 10 workers had good things to say about the provisions in the SECURE 2.0 Act that allow employers to offer Emergency Savings Accounts as part of their retirement plans. The access allows workers and retirees to refrain from needing to dip into their retirement plans to cover emergency expenses — something that 1 in 5 Americans admit to doing.

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.AdAds by Money disclaimer
With a Reverse Mortgage, you can invest in your future starting today
Work with a licensed AAG (NMLS# 2285) representative today.
Learn More

More from Money:

When Social Security Recipients Will Get Their Checks in April

Most Adults Fail This 5-Question Quiz on Retirement Basics

Most Older Investors Say Retiring at Age 65 Is No Longer Feasible

Ads by Money. We may be compensated if you click this ad.Ad
Get the most out of your Reverse Mortgage with AAG (NMLS# 2285)