The study, by financial services firm Edward Jones, also found significant discrepancies by age among those who have not yet started saving. Although they plan to do so in the future, the majority (58 percent) of the study's youngest non-retired respondents (18 to 34 years of age) have not yet started saving.
The study, which interviewed more than 1,000 non-retired and retired Americans, found an interesting disconnect between the expectations Americans have about their retirement savings strategies and reality.
To that point, of respondents ages 18 to 35, 90 percent say they either have started saving for retirement, or plan to start, before turning 30, and just 7 percent of that group plan to start saving for retirement in their 40s. Meanwhile, when looking at respondents ages 35 to 44, only 64 percent actually began saving in their 30s or earlier.
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"When it comes to retirement savings, there's a big difference between planning to save and actually doing so," said Scott Thoma, principal and investment strategist for Edward Jones. "While intentions to save for retirement are legitimate, individuals tend to satisfy more immediate, short-term spending goals and push off their long-term saving goals."