Americans Delusional About their Retirement Benefits and Income

A new survey has found that many Americans are delusional with regard to their retirement benefits and income. A lot of them didn’t know the value of their retirement account, they don’t know how much money they can expect or will need in retirement and they are not saving enough for retirement. Experts believe that people need to make a plan with regard to their retirement expenses. They also need to update themselves on various retirement products available in the market.

The Survey on Retirement Benefits and Income Expectations

The survey with regard to retirement benefits and income was conducted by TIAA, a company offering many financial products. It was named the TIAA 2016 Lifetime Income Survey. The survey included the participation of more than 1000 Americans who were older than 18 years of age. In the survey, 58 percent of the respondents admitted that they have enough money saved that will last them throughout the retirement.

Less than half knew the exact amount of money that they currently have in the retirement account. About 35 percent shared that they know what income they can expect on a monthly basis post-retirement.

Fewer Savings

The survey also unveiled that 41 percent of the respondents were saving less than 10 percent for the post-employment years while experts recommend saving 10 to 15 percent at the least. It also revealed that 63 percent think they will need a maximum of 75 percent of their current earnings for a comfortable retirement while the experts suggest more than 75 percent or even 100 percent may be needed.

TIAA also said that only 43 percent of the respondents were willing to commit a portion of their retirement benefits savings to an option that would let them get monthly payment through their lifetime.

Expert Opinion

The CEO and President of TIAA, Roger Ferguson Jr. said that given the longer lifespans of today’s world, saving is not enough. The workers need to take a realistic look at their post-retirement expenses. They need to create a plan to generate a reliable monthly income to cover the expenses in retirement. They need a guaranteed income throughout the life if they wish for a long and comfortable retirement.


As TIAA sells IRAs, annuities, and employer-sponsored retirement benefits plans, it tried to find out people’s attitudes towards annuities. It found that 66 percent were unaware of the products. Only 10 percent really owned a plan and 68 percent said that they have no plan to buy one. About 23 percent had a favorable opinion of them.