Many Americans Say They Will Never Retire

Senior woman working in a bakery | Image by Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock
Senior woman working in a bakery | Image by Robert Kneschke/Shutterstock

A troubling new survey released by AARP indicates that Americans over the age of 50 are increasingly unlikely to retire as the cost of living continues to climb.

The survey found that 1 in 5 older Americans have no retirement savings, and 61% are concerned they will not have enough money to retire. The share of men who feel their financial situation is “fair” or “poor” has risen from 34% in 2022 to 42% in the latest survey.

“Every adult in America deserves to retire with dignity and financial security,” said Indira Venkateswaran, AARP’s senior vice president of research, in a press release. “Yet far too many people lack access to retirement savings options, and this, coupled with higher prices, is making it increasingly hard for people to choose when to retire.”

“Everyday expenses continue to be the top barrier to saving more for retirement, and some older Americans say that they never expect to retire,” she added.

ZeroHedge wrote that inflation has been climbing over the last two presidential administrations, and the situation was made even worse when the Federal Reserve released trillions into the economy to offset the substantial financial losses caused by the lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

AARP’s study shows that more than one-third of respondents were worried about covering basic expenses, such as food and housing, more than a quarter were worried about covering healthcare costs, and 7 in 10 were worried about the costs of goods rising faster than wages.

“America is facing a serious retirement crisis. AARP has a long history of supporting legislation to expand access to retirement savings, but Congress must act more swiftly to provide the financial support older Americans need and deserve,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP’s executive vice president and chief advocacy and engagement officer, per the press release.

“We have worked with 19 states to create programs to make it easier for people whose employers don’t offer a retirement plan to be able to save for their future. But about two-thirds of states have yet to act, and we await action from the federal government,” she said.

SmartAsset provides some of the facts and figures people facing retirement need to be concerned about. The financial technology company estimates that a person who was 65 in 2023 will need $157,000 in savings to cover healthcare costs in retirement. It also recommends that people establish a retirement account, but AARP found that many Americans facing retirement age are instead carrying credit card debt.

As covered previously by The Dallas Express, credit card balances reached record-breaking heights in the final quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, past-due rates have also increased.

Concerns about retirement have led to various state and federal efforts to use taxpayer money to bolster welfare for older Americans. At least eight states have some type of program in place or are in the process of creating one, while federal legislation aiming to provide a fund to help offset costs for retired people is being debated.

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