A whopping 61 percent of Americans don’t know how much they’ll need to save to get them through retirement—but among the ones who do, the median estimate is $650,000.
And numerous studies have shown that that’s in an alternate universe from the amount most people have socked away.
A new study from Bankrate.com finds that 19 million Americans say they plan never to retire, and it’s not a single age group saying that; 9 percent of millennials (age 18–37) and 9 percent of boomers (age 54–72) all envision a future of working ad infinitem.
Millennials are the group most in a quandary over how much they’ll need, with 69 percent admitting to such ignorance. But they’re far from the only ones, and they’re not that much greater in numbers than older generations; 56 percent of GenXers (ages 38–53), 58 percent of boomers and 59 percent of those aged 73+ have the same problem.
Even among those who have given estimating a shot, their conclusions are all over the financial map, with 7 percent saying $250,000–$500,000 and 8 percent saying either $250,000 or less, $500,000–$1 million or over $1 million, respectively.
GenXers are the most likely to weigh in at over $1 million, with those actively working three times more likely to say so than unemployed respondents.
Their estimates vary, too, depending on the part of the country in which they live: those in the Northeast (12 percent) and West (11 percent) are about twice as likely to say $1 million, compared with those who live in the Midwest (5 percent) and South (6 percent).
More than half of Americans have tried to get some advice, although their sources also vary widely. And whom they ask depends a great deal on their age group, with 21 percent asking a family member or friend—although 30 percent of millennials chose that as their avenue of advice.
Twenty-six percent went to a personal financial advisor, with boomers way more likely to do so at 37 percent, while 11 percent used an online retirement calculator, 10 percent sought out a bank or financial institution, 8 percent used expert commentary or articles and fewer than 1 percent used a robo-advisor.
And marital status plays a big role in their choices; people who are married or living with a partner are twice as likely to consult a personal financial advisor or bank/financial institution than those who are single or not living with a partner.
Asked how much of their retirement will be funded by Social Security, a shocking 61 percent said little to none.
Twenty percent said about half, but 17 percent said that most to all their retirement money would come from Social Security.
However, Bankrate analyst Taylor Tepper is cited in the report saying, “Social Security will almost certainly contribute a sizable portion of your retirement income, even for millennials, despite erroneous declarations that the pension program will soon go bankrupt.”