Fewer Americans Are Enjoying Retirement

By on May 1, 2016 in Retirement with 14 Comments

According to new research, Americans are generally reporting less overall satisfaction with retirement.

According to a study published by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, the number of Americans over the last 14 years who say that their retirements are “very satisfying” has declined 11.9%, going from 60.5% in 1998 to 48.6% in 2012.

Additionally, the number of respondents who said that they were “not at all satisfied” with their retirements went from 7.9% to 10.5% over the same time period.

Not all news was bad, however. Those who said their retirements were “moderately satisfying” went from 31.7% to 40.9% from 1998 to 2012.

Trends in satisfaction also showed declines among those with the most assets, although the lowest asset quartile had a larger percentage drop among those who reported being “very satisfied” than among those in the highest asset quartile. The charts below depict the trends among these two asset quartiles from the study.

Image showing a chart of retirement trends among the highest asset quartile 1998 - 2012 Image showing a chart of retirement trends among the lowest asset quartile 1998 - 2012

The study’s authors noted that because of this finding in particular, a retiree’s satisfaction is based on more than just how much money he has when he reaches his Golden Years.

The study also looked at factors such as age and health. Health was the most revealing – perhaps not surprisingly, respondents who reported being in “excellent health” were more likely (4 in 5) to report that they had a “very satisfying” retirement versus 1 in 4 people in poor health.

For more details, see the EBRI study results Trends in Retirement Satisfaction in the United States: Fewer Having a Great Time.

© 2016 Ian Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ian Smith.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the FedSmith.com web site and its sibling sites.

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