Americans fear going broke in retirement but won’t save moreNews added by Benefits Pro on May 28, 2014

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By Lisa Barron

Although many Americans who are saving for their golden years still fear going broke in retirement, they are not afraid enough to curtail their current lifestyle, according to Bank of America’s biannual Merrill Edge report.

More than half, 55 percent, of respondents say they fear not having enough money in retirement, compared to 37 percent who fear losing their job and 25 percent who fear gaining weight.

The report is based on a national survey of 1,000 people with total household investments of $50,000 to $250,000, excluding their homes and real estate holdings. About 90 percent of the so-called emerging affluent who were polled have retirement savings, and the average age at which they started saving was 33.

More respondents, 63 percent, say having money to live “in the here and now” is more important than saving for the future, while 48 percent said building a nest egg was a priority.

Thirty-three percent aren’t willing to spend less on entertainment, 30 percent don’t want to cut back on eating out and 28 percent don’t want to give up vacations.

Others say they are not saving regularly for retirement because they have to pay off debts or pay for a child’s college education.

Other findings include that only 19 percent of respondents would use a $1 million windfall for their retirement, while 34 percent would pay off large debt; 32 percent would first save or invest it; 7 percent would give it away to loved ones; 4 percent would spend it on something extravagant; 2 percent would give it to charity; and 2 percent don’t know.

In addition, more women, 59 percent, than men, 51 percent, are worried about not having enough money in retirement, although women are more reluctant than men to cut back on eating or buying clothes.

And 68 percent of divorced respondents say they are worried about not having enough money in their later years compared to 53 percent who are single, married or widowed.

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