Financial stress is taking a toll on American workers, not just on the job but on their efforts to save for retirement.
That’s according to a survey from Charles Schwab’s Retirement Plan Services, which finds that financial stress has affected the job performance of many employees, and coping with everyday finances is putting a strain on retirement savings, too.
Survey respondents, half of whom actively save for retirement in a 401(k) and the other half of whom do not, are united in saying that financial stress has had an impact on their job performance—undoubtedly not good news for employers.
In addition, close to half (45 percent) of the nonsaving crowd say they either have no money left over or are actually behind on bills at the end of each month.
Among those who are savers, just 23 percent say the same.
And more than twice as many nonsavers as savers say keeping up with monthly expenses is a significant source of stress (42 percent compared with 20 percent).
They share some of the same financial obstacles, too, although not to the same degree.
Nonsavers are stymied by basic monthly bills (46 percent), credit card debt (42 percent), unexpected expenses like home repairs (34 percent) and medical bills (33 percent).
Savers cite unexpected expenses (36 percent), monthly bills (31 percent), unwillingness to sacrifice things that add to their quality of life (29 percent), and credit card debt (29 percent).
Even if they’re not saving, people say they’re relying on themselves or their spouses for their income in retirement—a whopping 89 percent of savers and 79 percent of nonsavers say so.
In addition, 60 percent of savers and 53 percent of nonsavers who have at one time contributed to a 401(k) say their 401(k) is their largest or only source of retirement savings, even though the nonsavers aren’t not currently contributing.
Among the savers crowd, 66 percent say they’ve increased their contribution percentage in the past two years; 62 percent say they believe they are saving enough to retire when they want to.
They’re also more positive overall about their finances, with 85 percent saying they’re in pretty good shape or very good shape financially, compared with 64 percent of nonsavers.
Ironically, even though 401(k) investment fees can have a dramatic impact on retirement savings, both savers and nonsavers say fees are less likely to influence their choice of 401(k) investments than they are their choice of a credit card, online shopping destination, ATM or airline.