Retirement confidence: Q2 2019

Despite overall financial optimism, Americans report financial struggles and a lack of retirement confidence.

Americans optimistic about finances

Americans ages 18 to 64 are optimistic about their finances. 33% of working-age Americans feel better about their finances now than they did at the beginning of 2018; 48% feel about the same.1 57% of Americans expect their financial situation to get better in 2019, while 68% expect it to get better in the next five years.2  

Americans not confident about retirement

Even though working-age Americans are generally positive about their financial futures, the Consumer Retirement Index for the second quarter is 25%, the same as in the first quarter of this year. This reflects a general lack of confidence about retirement.

Consumer Retirement Index

Source: Lincoln Financial Group Consumer Retirement Index website, https://www.lfg.com/public/employersorganizations/retirementplans/retirementpower/consumerretirementindex, 2019.

Very few Americans are confident about these three key aspects of retirement.

Only about a third of U.S. adults are confident in their retirement savings.

Source: Lincoln Financial Group Consumer Retirement Index website, https://www.lfg.com/public/employersorganizations/retirementplans/retirementpower/consumerretirementindex, 2019.

Americans struggle financially

Retirement isn’t the only area in which working age Americans report difficulties. Many report facing financial struggles in 2018, including trouble making ends meet, debt problems, and financial stress that affects their jobs or health.

  • 30% say they’re in trouble or barely getting by, up from 25% in 2017.3
  • 22% say they often struggle to make ends meet, and an additional 34% say they struggle to make ends meet every now and then.4
  • 84% have some type of debt, and, among those, 70% say their debt is a problem.5
  • 59% say financial stress had a negative impact on their life, affecting their personal health or their performance at work (or both).6

Helping Americans gain retirement confidence

What’s the solution to the low Consumer Retirement Index? Encourage Americans to save more for the future so they can feel better about what’s ahead. Financial wellness programs may help those who feel they don’t have extra money to save. 

We’ll continue to track how Americans feel about their retirement prospects. Check back next quarter for an update!
 

1 2019 Lincoln Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of the Modern Consumer.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.; Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of Today’s Consumer, Year-End 2017 Study.
4 2019 Lincoln Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of the Modern Consumer.
5 Ibid.
6 Ibid.