More than half of retirees above the median U.S. income cite pensions as a major source of funding, double the percentage for lower-income retirees. Seven in 10 lower-income retirees cite Social Security as a major source of funds.
The Gallup Economic Confidence Index was -5 last week -- the highest weekly average since Gallup began Daily tracking in 2008. For the first time since then, more Americans now say the economy is "getting better" than "getting worse."
Wealthier not-yet-retired Americans mostly expect investments and pension plans to fund their retirement. The less wealthy plan to rely on Social Security and part-time work. Most young adults don't expect to rely on Social Security.
The federal poverty threshold for a family of four is just under $24,000; however, Americans believe such a family unit living in their community needs more than double that -- $58,000 -- just to "get by."
The average age at which current U.S. retirees say they actually retired is now 61, up from 59 a decade ago and 57 in the early 1990s. Conversely, 37% of nonretirees expect to retire after age 65, up from 14% in 1995.
Gallup's U.S. Economic Confidence Index fell slightly to -11 after tying the five-year high of -8 the prior week and improving for three straight weeks. Still, the current reading is one of the highest weekly scores of the year.
The percentage of Americans who say they are spending less money than usual continues to drift downward, now at 41%, compared with at least 50% in 2009 and 2010. Twenty-six percent now say they are spending more and 32% the same.
Forty-eight percent of U.S. small-business owners say the Affordable Care Act is going to be bad for their business, 9% say it will be good, and 39% expect no impact. Forty-one percent are postponing hiring as a result of the law.
Americans continue to say they enjoy saving money more than spending it, by 60% to 37%. These self-perceptions have remained stable in recent years, but prior to 2009, the saving over spending gap was smaller.