30-Somethings Most Worried About Retirement

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Although they have years ahead of them, adults in their 30s are the most worried about retirement savings and they have good reason since they suffered the steepest losses in recent years.

Although they have years ahead of them, adults in their 30s are the most worried about retirement savings, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

A Pew Research analysis of Federal Reserve Board data revealed that adults in their 30s have good reasons to be concerned about retirement — they suffered the steepest losses in household wealth in recent years.


More than half (53%) of adults between the ages of 36 and 40 say they are either “not too” or not at all” confident that their income and assets will last throughout their retirement. Younger workers (18 to 22) are more confident with only 27% sharing those concerns and only a third of those ages 60 to 64 are as concerned.

However, overall, concerns about retirement finances have increased across all age groups in the last three years.

When Pew Research conducted the survey in 2009, it was those between the ages of 51 and 55 who were the most concerned about outliving their money. The current group of 36- to 40-year-olds is much more worried than their counterparts from 2009, when only 18% of the age group was similarly worried.

According to Pew Research, the median net worth of those in their late 30s and early 40s has fallen at a far greater rate than for any other age group in the past decade. The median wealth of households headed by adults ages 35 to 44 years old dropped 56% — from $99,727 in 2001 to $43,698 in 2010.

Furthermore, this age group has seen some bad luck. The housing bubble hurt them most with median home equity declining the most for those ages 35 to 44. Plus, they lost a lot in the stock market and then failed to benefit from the rebound after the recession ended because they stayed on the sidelines.