Fidelity: Pandemic affected retirement savings for 82% of Americans

PROVIDENCE – Retirement savings have taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than a third of Americans estimating it will take several years to get back on track, according to new research from Fidelity Investments Inc.

While 82% of people surveyed in Fidelity’s 2021 State of Retirement Planning study said the pandemic affected their retirement plans, most remained confident they will still be able to retire when and how they want. More than one-third, 36%, are even more confident in their retirement plan than prior to the onset of COVID-19, according to the study.

Despite concerns, people continue to save, with Fidelity reporting record-level retirement savings accounts in the fourth quarter of 2020, as well as record levels of discussions with clients around financial planning.

Other sources of financial stress have also changed. Health care costs topped the list among respondents, cited as a concern by 42% of those surveyed, followed by paying for a child’s education (41%) and paying monthly bills (32%).

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Different age groups were also more likely to feel on track with their retirement goals even during the pandemic. Millennials felt the most prepared, with 35% saying they felt they were on track with their retirement goals, followed closely by Generation X, at 34%, and baby boomers, at 32%. Fidelity attributed this in part to the fact that millennials are two times more likely to use online tools and calculators in planning their retirement compared to baby boomers.

The survey reflects results of 1,204 adults with at least one investment account and, among those over 34 years old, at least $100,000 in investable assets.

Nancy Lavin is a PBN staff writer. You may reach her at Lavin@PBN.com.