Scottrade Research Finds Americans Struggle to Save for Retirement

The mid-year study found Americans’ enthusiasm for cutting costs waned since January

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 6, 2012 – Americans are experiencing a tug-of-war between their retirement savings goals and the stark realities of today’s financial burdens. New research from Scottrade, Inc. found that while more than 60 percent of Americans recommend saving between 6 and 19 percent of their income annually for retirement, less than a third actually do. And on average, Americans reported spending 21 percent of their monthly income on mortgage and non-mortgage debt.

The survey, fielded in June, follows up on the trends Scottrade uncovered in its sixth annual American Retirement Study, which was fielded in January. Both surveys polled Americans about their perspectives on retirement and savings.

“Americans are trying to balance their savings goals with everyday expenses,” said Kristin Grupas, Scottrade’s assistant director of client education. “Scottrade’s online trading tools and investment education can help self-directed traders and investors find opportunities to make saving and investing for retirement a reality.”

While nearly all Americans in both surveys – 93 percent in January and 92 percent in June – reported taking some action to reduce the financial stress caused by this financial tug-of war, fewer were sticking to the money-saving efforts reported in January. In three key areas, Americans reverted to January 2011 levels:

Actions Americans are Taking to Reduce Financial Stress
  January 2011 January 2012 June 2012
Spending Less 63% 69% 64%
Using Coupons 59% 67% 60%
Comparison Shopping 58% 65% 61%

While some Americans have deviated from their penny-pinching behaviors, 49 percent of the June respondents said they do not have any financial regrets from the first six months of the year. Of those who did report regret, the leading response (37 percent) was not saving enough money.

Despite their saving struggles, the majority of Americans surveyed in June (65 percent) reported managing their investments without the help of a broker or professional financial advisor. Of those, nearly half rated their confidence in their ability to plan for retirement as ‘good’ or ‘very good.’

“The combination of Scottrade’s in-person and online support, along with its easy-to-use trading tools empowers clients to execute the investing strategies they believe will get them closer to their retirement savings goals,” Grupas said. “While many Americans are struggling with this balance of paying bills versus saving for retirement, Scottrade can help them find the right solution for their own unique needs.”

About the 2012 Scottrade American Retirement Survey Six-Month Follow-Up
The survey was commissioned by Scottrade and conducted online by Synovate. Fielded with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 respondents between June 7-11, 2012, the survey examined attitudes, behaviors and trends related to retirement. All participants were at least 18 years of age and were involved in making investment decisions in their households. Margin of error for the overall poll is +/- 3.1 percent at 95 percent confidence. This survey is a follow-up to Scottrade’s 2012 American Retirement Study, which for six consecutive years Scottrade has commissioned to gauge Americans’ current viewpoints about retirement and retirement investing.

About Scottrade, Inc.
Investors who enjoy online stock trading will find value and personalized customer service at online investing services firm Scottrade, Inc. Founded in 1980, Scottrade enables clients to learn about online trading tools, stock market research and how to buy stocks online, many at just $7 per trade. With more than 500 nationwide branch offices, Scottrade has the largest branch network among online brokerage firms. To learn more about one of FORTUNE® magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” visit or and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Member FINRA/SIPC.

Scottrade® and the Scottrade® logo are the registered trademarks of Scottrade, Inc.



Americans Slow Savings

Americans Slow Savings

New survey findings from Scottrade reveal Americans’ enthusiasm for cutting costs waned during the first six months of 2012.