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It’s personal.

And it’s shaped by who we are and what we have access to. The path can get complex. But we’re rethinking retirement – because it doesn’t have to be. Our 9th annual 2024 Read on Retirement™ survey looked at six retirement saver experiences and found:

3 big things


Common barriers

The challenges workers face in saving for retirement are shared.


Unique stories

The paths they take to get there are personal.


Concern for income

And everyone is worried about outliving their nest eggs.

BlackRock // Retirement Summit



I think retirement’s very personal.

It’s gonna look different for everybody.

It’s personal to me, it’s personal to my mom, it’s personal to those around me.

Everybody has their own plan, their own way.

How everyone writes their own retirement story is unique to them.

Take one.

TITLES: BlackRock

TITLES: Retirement. It’s personal.

I want to be able to keep doing what I love: being a firefighter, EMT, being outdoors, hunting, fishing, hiking.

I want to travel as far and wide as I can. That’s my number one.

We love being outdoors. Maybe get a little place in the mountains where I can ski in the winter.

Just relaxing, I’m exhausted.

Staying active, we’d like to be able to do more things that we love.

Spending time with my grandchildren and watching them grow.

I would pretty much say travel keeps me from saving because as much as I want to save, you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow so you just want to take that trip. But at the same time, things have changed and now I’m in a relationship and we’re, like, starting to get serious about planning for the future… And so, trying to be a bit more responsible.

Right now, I’m currently the only one in my family saving for retirement. I do have quite a span of time still to let the money compound, to keep contributing, but in my job there’s a real risk of injury. It worries me a little bit, I’m not gonna lie. You never know what’s gonna happen. There’s always pressure around the unknown.

We’ve been really diligent about our 401ks and so, if everything goes to plan, we’ll be ready to retire in 3 to 4 years. But we also help out with my in-laws and I can envision a world where we might get hit with some expenses that we weren’t planning for.

I think everybody wishes that they had saved more money. In our case our retirement came sooner than we had expected, but I think the trick is to manage the money that we have to last for the time that we’re here. I’m planning on a long life.

I’ve built a 401k for 15 years and now as a small business owner it’s a lot harder to know what to do with our money because some years you might not do so well and some years you might do great with your business. I think about my employees too and how to give them the tools to retire and it isn’t easy for us. Watching my parents in their 70s having to go to work every day, I definitely don’t want to be like that.

It’s unbelievable how quickly time goes. I want to be able to preserve the money that I have on hand and just enjoy life, so I just need to know and understand, how can I have this money outlive me? There’s a lot of fire left in this soul.

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TITLES: Read on Retirement

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In the U.S., this material is intended for public distribution.

© 2024 BlackRock, Inc. or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved. BLACKROCK and READ ON RETIREMENT are trademarks of BlackRock, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and elsewhere. All other trademarks are those of their respective owners.


The state of retirement, according to real people

We talked to savers and retirees who are all taking different paths to retirement -- and found that while there are a million ways to spend retirement, everyone wants to spend it feeling secure.

Quotation start

We focus a tremendous amount of energy on helping people live longer lives. But not even a fraction of that effort is spent helping people afford those extra years.

BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink
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Retirement confidence

There’s more beneath the surface

When markets rally.

workplace savers tend to feel more on track for retirement.

But employers.

are less optimistic as they look at the larger picture.

And a closer look.

reveals confidence gaps around saving and spending.

Meet the savers

Understanding who is saving, and how

BlackRock dug into the data by factors like generation, gender and circumstances, looking at the complex individual choices Americans face when saving for retirement to see the full story.

young person smiling holding a red yoga mat
Gen Z

Gen Z

Ahead of their time

The youngest generation in the workforce is already thinking about retirement saving – and worried about their future retirement income. 69% worry about outliving their retirement savings, and they’re turning to their plan for help.

portrait of a young man wearing an orange shirt and blue jacket


Feeling the squeeze

With added responsibilities and expenses, including debt, many are trying to balance savings for both the near- and long-term. 72% say they are very likely to stay with their current employer if they matched contributions to their retirement plan for paying off student loans. 

middle aged woman smiling wearing a colorful block sweater
Gen X

Gen X

Coming into focus

With retirement just around the corner, they’re both the most likely generation to report saving consistently for retirement and the least likely to feel on track. 74% agree they won’t have the income certainty in retirement that retirees used to have. 

Older woman who is happy while her grandchild wraps their arms around the woman.
Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers

Reflecting on income

Whether close to retirement or already there, this generation is focused on the need for retirement income. 85% of those who are already retired say it makes a bigger difference than they thought it would. 

portrait of a middle aged woman smiling wearing a pink button down shirt
Independent Savers

Independent Savers

Making it work

47% of those without a workplace plan feel on-track to retire versus 68% of those with access. They save for retirement when they can but stand to benefit from the resources savers with workplace plans typically have access to.


two young people who look like friends smiling and taking a selfie photo.


A confidence gap

When it comes to retirement confidence, the biggest disparity we saw in the numbers wasn’t between generations, it was gender. The gap is significant: 59% of women feel on-track for retirement versus 75% of men.

Stand-out stats

Across the board, savers want secure retirement income solutions – and employers recognize the need to act.

fear outliving their retirement savings – and 80% say it's impacting their mental health
of savers say receiving guaranteed income in retirement would help
of plan sponsors feel responsible for helping their employees generate income in retirement

What’s next?

Retirement. It’s deeply personal. Today’s workforce is rethinking retirement. We are, too. Download the full 2024 BlackRock Read on Retirement™ report to find out more.

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Download the 2024 BlackRock Read on Retirement™ report

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