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Even though saving for retirement is very important to Americans, 4 in 10 have yet to get started. Plus, more than half of Americans think they either aren’t on track to reach their retirement income goals or are unsure where they stand.

Chart: Income you want in retirement

Even though saving for retirement is essential, 4 in 10 Americans haven’t even begun.

Unsurprisingly, more than half think they either aren’t on track to reach their retirement income goals or admit they have no idea.

Chart: The average pre-retiree's savings may yield

The gap between expectations and reality

Only 36% of Americans feel confident they will have the income they hope for in retirement. In fact, Americans saving for retirement believe they will need $437,000 to meet their goals, but those aged 55-64 average only $127,000 in savings. The most commonly stated barrier to saving? Not earning enough.

Health worries weigh heavily

When it comes to retirement, health concerns are on par with financial ones: fear of physical and cognitive decline rival that of running out of money.

A possible takeaway: Retirement income strategies clearly seek to ensure investments are providing income throughout retirement, but they should also consider the potential for reduced decision-making capacity in the final years of retirement.

Chart: Top risks to americans' financial futures

Chart: Reasons to start saving

A belief in self-reliance

Compared with retirement investors across the globe, Americans are particularly strong believers in self-reliance. The second most common reason individuals began saving for retirement was a realization that Social Security would offer them insufficient income. Millennials are particularly skeptical about the Social Security system’s sustainability; only 38% expect it to provide them with any income in retirement. Fortunately, younger generations are more likely to be tapping employer-sponsored plans to save.

Employers play a critical role

The top factors that would prompt individuals to invest more for retirement are pay raises and matching contributions by employers. But in the event that a pay raise or match isn’t forthcoming, the data is clear: Americans should still take action to secure their retirement futures.

Chart: What Americans need to save more

Take action

With retirement worries on the minds of many Americans, financial advisors may want to take concrete steps to help their clients prepare. The surest solve for falling investor sentiment may be better retirement readiness.

Explore iRetire

Explore iRetire®

Reframe the retirement problem for your clients by focusing on the number that really matters: The income they could receive each year in retirement.

Retirement views and innovation

Retirement views and innovation

The BlackRock Retirement Institute assembles global leaders and policymakers around the topic of retirement.