- About 44 percent of American workers who are saving in a workplace retirement plan feel confident they will retire comfortably.
- However, generation by generation, the numbers show that many individuals are way behind when it comes to reaching their savings goals.
- Baby boomers have made the most progress, having saved 30 percent of what they think they will need. The bad news: they have just a few years to catch up.
If you feel confident that you will live comfortably in retirement, you might want to double-check how much you are really saving.
A new survey from Natixis Investment Managers finds that 44 percent of American workers who participate in a 401(k) or other workplace retirement plan feel secure about their retirement, as long as they watch their spending. That positive sentiment was echoed by the CNBC and Acorns Invest In You Savings Survey, which found that more than half of adults are either somewhat more confident (30 percent) or much more confident (27 percent) about their ability to save for retirement than they were three years ago.
Still, many are falling short when you look at the Natixis data by generation. Because the calculations assume a zero percent rate of return, the savings targets are higher than they would be if you invested your money towards your retirement goals.
"The big message of this throughout the generations is you need to think about saving more," said Edward Farrington, executive vice president of Natixis Investment Managers.
This generation has an average of $79,764 saved toward retirement, Natixis' research found.
But because members of this cohort say they will need to have $822,789 saved in order to retire, they have reached about 10 percent of their goal.
Millennials, who are 30 years old on average, say they expect to retire at age 61.
To successfully get there, they will need to save $23,969 per year, according to Natixis.
This middle generation has $166,328 saved toward retirement, on average.
Gen Xers project they will need to have $980,466 put away in order to stop working. That means they're at 17 percent of their goal.
Members of this generation, with an average age of 45, want to retire at 64.
To do that, they must save $42,849 per year.
Baby boomers have made the most progress, with an average of $306,703 saved toward retirement.
With that, they have made it to 30 percent of their $1,018,488 goal.
But because they are older — 64 years old on average — and they have a shorter time to their goal retirement age, 69, they must put away much more per year: $142,357.
Ideally, each generation in this study would be much farther toward their retirement savings goals — particularly because they have access to retirement plans provided by their employers.
But other financial concerns get in the way.
The biggest one: daily living expenses, which was cited by 65 percent of respondents. That was followed by generational debt, with 43 percent; housing costs, 43 percent; and health-care costs, 32 percent.
What makes matters worse is that 22 percent of workers admitted to taking a lump sum distribution from their retirement funds without moving the money to another plan.
More from Personal Finance:
The gender pay gap can add up to a $1 million shortfall
Residents in this metro area saw taxes rise by more than $2,600
What to do if you can't afford to accept a wedding invitation
It's not all bleak when it comes to retirement. There will be other sources of income, such as Social Security or the proceeds you may see if you decide to sell your home.
But Farrington said workers would be wise to understand the benefits that contributing to a workplace plan can bring. That includes the potential savings from lowering your taxable income, the extra money you may receive from employer matches, and the potential to save more once you're 50 and older through catch-up contributions.
"There's a lot of good stuff in a defined contribution plan that we want to make sure people are fully educated around so they can make a choice and start closing the gap," Farrington said.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns.