Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app

Retirement in America: The Stash 2018 Survey

November 28, 2018

When it comes to saving for the future, Stash revealed that 40% haven’t saved a dime.

3 min read

Americans could be doing a lot better job saving for retirement than they are.

In fact, about 40% haven’t saved a dime for the years when they’ll no longer be working. What’s worse, about 10% say they’ll never have enough money to retire.

That’s according to a new survey by Stash, which reveals that U.S. consumers are having a hard time when it comes to building their nest eggs.

The survey of 2,167 adult consumers, was conducted online by SurveyMonkey in November 2018. Of those surveyed, 47% (1022) identified themselves as male, 53% (1145) identified themselves as female.

Seventy percent reported earning less than $75,000 annually.

Snapshot of retirement savings

For those who are not saving for retirement, the biggest reason cited is not having additional income to put toward retirement savings. Nearly 40% said debt from student loans and credit cards consumed all their extra cash each month, and about half said that pressing monthly expenses always ate up their cash.

Additionally, nearly half said retirement “felt too far away” to really worry about.

On the plus side: about 10% who aren’t saving for retirement said their extra monthly money goes to an emergency fund. And, surprisingly, 16% said they didn’t need to save for retirement because someone else had already put aside money for them.

For those who are saving, 20% said an increase in income enabled them to start putting money away; more than a third said it was because either an employer allowed them to set up a 401(k), or a trusted person in their lives urged them to start saving for retirement.

Later retirement, or no retirement at all

The survey also found that consumers may plan to retire later than previous generations. About half of all respondents said they will retire between the ages of 60 and 70. (In the 1990s, average retirement age was around 57, according to some surveys.)

And about 10% of respondents said they will never be able to retire.

When asked what the biggest barrier is to retiring at 65—the age at which Medicare and full Social Security benefits begin for many—about one quarter said it’s because wages are too low.

Nearly a third said programs like Social Security either wouldn’t exist or wouldn’t be sufficient to support retirement. Three-quarters of respondents said the average American won’t be able to retire at age 65.

Women have a harder time saving for retirement than men

Whether it’s because they are saddled more with family expenses, because they may earn less than their male counterparts, or some other reason, women report saving less money for retirement than men.

When it comes to retirement, age matters

By the time people hit their mid-thirties, retirement doesn’t seem so far-fetched.

About 55% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 report that they aren’t saving for retirement. But nearly 70% of those between the ages of 35 and 64 say they are saving for the years when they stop working.

The age when you start saving and investing  matters. Someone who begins putting money away regularly at age 25 could have nearly twice as much money as the person who starts at age 35.

*Example is a hypothetical illustration of mathematical principles, and is not a prediction or projection of performance of an investment or investment strategy

Get inspired to Stash Retire

Opening a retirement account has never been easier. With Stash, you can start with just $5.

Make your future money

Learn more about Stash Retire

Start now

By Stash Team

Next for you
What To Expect (When You’re Investing for Retirement)

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
social media budgeting love and money politics pop culture

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit