2016 Retirement Preparedness Study

Americans are living longer and spending more years in retirement. PGIM Investments wanted to know how prepared both pre-retirees and retirees were in relation to meeting their retirement goals and objectives. What are adults currently doing to prepare for retirement? Do they understand the tools available to them? What do they wish they had done differently in their planning? Our 2016 Retirement Preparedness study explores the answers to these questions and more.

Key Findings


Saving for retirement is getting progressively harder for each generation. More than half (57%) of pre-retirees expect to have a more difficult time saving for retirement than their parents or grandparents did.


Overwhelmed with investment choices, individuals have little understanding about what they are invested in. Only about 6 in 10 investors say they are knowledgeable of how their assets are currently allocated between stocks, bonds, and cash (58%) or the types of products they are invested in (57%).


Far from reaching savings goals, individuals need a plan but have inertia. Nearly three-quarters (75%) of pre-retirees agree that they should be doing more to prepare for retirement, but 4 in 10 (40%) say they simply don’t know what to do.


Advisors play an important role in bridging the retirement preparedness gap. Less than half (44%) of individuals use an advisor, but those who do see the benefits.

About The Survey

The Retirement Preparedness Study was conducted using an online survey among 1,568 adults living in the United States (including 438 retirees) who met the following criteria:

  • Age 21 and up
  • Primary or shared responsibility in making household financial/investment decisions
  • Employed full-time or part-time, self-employed, stay-at-home parent, or retired

The survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of Prudential between July 20 and August 9, 2016. Results were weighted where necessary by age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, income, size of household, marital status, employment status (for non-retirees) and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

0274415-00004-01 Ed. 12/2016