2016 Retirement Preparedness Study

Americans are living longer and spending more years in retirement. In this study, PGIM Investments explores how prepared both pre-retirees and retirees were in relation to meeting their retirement goals and objectives.

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Achieving Retirement Readiness Isn’t Easy

The 2016 Retirement Preparedness Study, conducted by PGIM Investments, explores the challenges facing Americans as they move toward retirement. What are adults currently doing to prepare for retirement? Do they understand the tools available to them? What do they wish they had done differently in their planning? The study explores the answers to these questions and more.

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Key Takeaways

Saving is Getting Harder

Saving for retirement is getting progressively harder for each generation. More than half (57%) of pre-retirees expect to have a more difficult time saving for retirement than their parents or grandparents did. And 54% of pre-retirees say they have no idea how much they will need to save for retirement.

Overwhelmed by Investment Choices

Overwhelmed with investment choices, individuals have little understanding about what they are invested in. Only about 6 in 10 investors say they are knowledgeable of how their assets are currently allocated between stocks, bonds, and cash (58%) or the types of products they are invested in (57%).

Need a Plan, but Have Inertia

Far from reaching savings goals, individuals need a plan but have inertia. Nearly three-quarters (75%) of pre-retirees agree that they should be doing more to prepare for retirement, but 4 in 10 (40%) say they simply don’t know what to do.

Professional Advice Can Help

Advisors play an important role in bridging the retirement preparedness gap. Less than half (44%) of individuals use an advisor, but those who do see the benefits and are more confident in their ability to achieve their retirement savings goals.

Download the full 2016 Retirement Preparedness Report


The Retirement Preparedness Study was conducted using an online survey among 1,568 adults living in the United States (insluding 438 retirees) who met the following criteria:

  • Age 21 and up
  • Primary or shared responsibility in making household financial/investment decisions
  • Employed full-time or part-time, self-employed, stay-at-home parent, or retired

The survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Prudential between July 20 and August 9, 2016. Results were weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, income, size of household, marital status, employment status (for non-retirees) and prosperity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.


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This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective clients. The information is not intended as investment advice and is not a recommendation about managing or investing your retirement savings. Clients seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional.

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