In a March 2006 survey of 1,000 Americans, sponsored by the AICPA 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy campaign, almost half (46%) mistakenly thought Social Security and an employer-subsidized plan will adequately fund their retirement. The poll also found that nearly one in four (23%) respondents had not begun saving for retirement. Carl George, CPA, chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission and CEO of Clifton Gunderson LLP, said, “Americans have to take responsibility today for planning and saving for their retirement. Otherwise, they may have to work far longer—or endure a lower standard of living—than they anticipated.”
Slightly more than one-third of those polled were members of Generation X, born between 1964 and 1980. Most of them were skeptical about government and corporate benefits. Fifty-five percent said they will save and invest to fund their retirement, 65% didn’t expect Social Security to provide retirement benefits and 68% didn’t expect to receive a pension.
Go to the Institute’s Financial Literacy Campaign site ( www.360financialliteracy.org ) for complete poll results and information on how to help your clients overcome the financial challenges inherent in parenthood, home ownership, launching a business, caring for elderly relatives and other milestones in their lives.