A Retirement Savings Crisis?

Over 40 percent of Americans aren’t investing at all

Foster City, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2014) – Saving for retirement can be a difficult and confusing process, but a new study from GetRichSlowly.org shows that many Americans are not even taking the first steps to build up their nest egg. The survey of 2,000 consumers shows that over 40 percent aren’t currently investing, but of the ones that are, experience plays a key role in how active they are in the process.

What is your investment strategy?

  • I create parameters for my adviser based on my own research – 8 percent
  • I don’t invest right now – 42 percent
  • I let others invest for me – 16 percent
  • I pick index funds – 12 percent
  • I review my allocations quarterly – 15 percent
  • My investments require active supervision – 7 percent

Among the more surprising results is that index funds – regarded among financial advisors as one of the most safe and profitable investment avenues – was not one of the top two investment strategies among any age group of those that said they do invest. In fact, among those who are currently investing in some way, just 1-in-5 report utilizing an index fund.

Experience in up-and-down economies was a key factor for many respondents, as those that had lived through three major recessions were more likely to take a hands-on approach to their portfolio.

Active Supervision of Investments (% of total responses for age group)

  • 3 recessions – 19%
  • 2 recessions – 10 %
  • 1 recession – 6 %
  • 0 recessions – 3%
among those who are currently investing in some way, just 1-in-5 report utilizing an index fund

Breaking this down further by defining “active involvement” as those that guide their adviser, actively monitor their investments or at least check them quarterly, 67 percent of those that have been through 3 recessions and are currently investing are actively involved in their investment strategy.

Conversely, those who had little no experience with economic downturns were less likely to be investing at all. Of those that do invest, less than half are taking an active approach among this age group.

Do Not Invest Currently (% of total responses for age group)

  • 0 recessions – 73 %
  • 1 recession – 18%
  • 2 recessions – 9 %
  • 3 recessions – 15%

GetRichSlowly.org contributor William Cowie says that this strategy – or lack thereof – could have serious consequences down the line.

“This youngest group has the most to gain by investing early, even if it’s just in a certificate of deposit,” Cowie said. “It’s easy to take a glass half-empty approach to the data. However, it’s encouraging that almost 30 percent of those in their mid-to-early 20s are taking responsibility for their future, even while they’re making the lowest wages of their career.”

For full analysis of the survey results, please visit here.





OP4G surveyed 2,000 individuals – split evenly among men and women – on behalf of GetRichSlowly.org.

About GetRichSlowly.org
GetRichSlowly.org is a personal finance blog that has provided readers with a forum for sharing and discussing practical everyday financial strategies and helpful tools since 2006. GetRichSlowly.org is among Liz Weston’s “Best Money Websites” for 2011 and 2012, has been named “The Most Inspiring Money Blog” by Money magazine and was named one Time.com’s Best Blogs of 2011.