A Resurgence in Retirement Savings

The recession may be causing some people to save more for retirement

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There is no question that almost all American’s retirement account balances are down this year. But that doesn’t mean we’ve stopped saving. In fact, 28 percent of Americans have actually managed to save more in the past 12 months, according to a new survey. Plus, a whopping 71 percent of respondents say they have cut back on spending.

The majority (86 percent) are padding their emergency fund, according to the AARP and International Communications Research survey of 1035 Americans age 25 and older conducted in late February and early March. But 73 percent said they are also slashing expenses and painstakingly bumping up their saving in order to have more money available in retirement.

Overall, approximately half (51 percent) of the survey respondents say they are currently saving for retirement. Surprisingly, the survey found that the younger adults age 49 and under are actually more likely to be saving for retirement (57 percent) than those age 50 and older (44 percent). Saving for retirement using a 401(k) is more popular among younger adults, while more older adults favored IRAs.

Interestingly, 25 percent of the survey respondents say they have started saving in a retirement account in the past 12 months. Other retirement account changes in the past year include: putting less money into retirement savings accounts (30 percent), shifting a retirement stash to less risky investments (29 percents), and stopping retirement account contributions altogether (20 percent).

Tell us, have you been tucking away more for retirement since the recession began?