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First National Bank Releases 'Retirement in America' Survey

An infographic of retirement survey results including 39% of americans are not saving for retirement, 69% have not calculated how much money they will need for retirement and 65% prioritize getting out of debt over investing for retirement

Press Release

Contact: Kevin Langin, 402-602-3541
Release Date: October 10, 2018

Study: 39% of Americans Are Not Saving for Retirement

- First National Bank of Omaha Unveils Findings From 'Retirement in America' Survey

OMAHA, Neb. October 10, 2018—In recognition of National Financial Planning Month, which takes place every October, First National Bank of Omaha today released the results of its 2018 Retirement in America Survey. An inaugural initiative, the survey examined Americans’ plans, behaviors and decisions on an array of retirement-related matters—from saving to investing to paying off debts to staying informed and more.

The study found that 39% of people who have yet to retire have not started saving for retirement. In addition, 69% have not calculated how much money they will need for retirement, while 65% prioritize getting out of debt over investing for retirement.

“Many Americans—retirees themselves as well as people who have yet to retire—are not taking all the steps they can that will ultimately allow them to make the most of their golden years,” said David Janus, senior vice president, Wealth Management, First National Bank of Omaha. “The reality is that the earlier you start planning, saving and thinking about retirement, the more you’ll be thanking yourself down the line.”

Among the survey’s findings:

  • Retirement Accounts: 38% of people who have yet to retire do not regularly contribute to a 401(k) or IRA, while 37% contribute to a 401(k) only, 8% IRA only and 17% both.
  • Saving: 19% of retirees were older than 50 when they started saving for retirement, while 35% were younger than 30, 30% were between 30 and 40 and 16% were between 41 and 50.
  • Debt: 37% of retirees are still paying off a mortgage, 29% are paying off auto loans, 15% are paying off medical debt and 8% are paying student debt.
  • Investing: 18% of retirees do not have an investment portfolio. Meanwhile, 22% check their investment portfolio monthly, 19% quarterly, 14% weekly, 13% daily, 7% yearly, 2% every few years and 4% never.
  • Stock Market: 48% of people who have yet to retire believe it’s likely there will be another recession within the next 5 years, and 14% have gone as far as to take their money out of the stock market because of this.
  • Staying Informed: The most popular way for retirees to stay informed about matters related to retirement is their financial advisor (43%). For people who have yet to retire, it is online research (43%).

This report is a follow-up to First National Bank of Omaha’s Mortgage and Money Survey, which found that 61% of Americans who have taken out a mortgage in their lifetime have yet to pay it off.


The study was conducted online using Survey Monkey. Over a thousand participants were polled, spanning across the United States. Participants were all over the age of 18 and represented a broad range in income, geographic location and gender.

Investment products are:  Not a Deposit • Not FDIC Insured • Not Insured by any Federal Government Agency •
Not Guaranteed by the Bank • May Go Down in Value