Visualizing Global Attitudes Towards Retirement
Global Attitudes Towards Retirement
There’s a reason retirement is often referred to as the golden years.
Many view retirement as a welcome reward following a successful career. The transition, however, is not always easy. An enjoyable retirement is often dictated by the amount of money people have set aside.
Today’s infographic from Raconteur visualizes attitudes towards retirement around the world, comparing expectations and actualities for retirement income.
Does reality meet their expectations?
Income Expectations Vary by Country
A global survey by asset manager Schroders—looking at 22,000 investors from 30 countries—highlights that retirement income often falls short of expectations.
Here’s what non-retirees (55+ in age) expect to make in retirement as a percentage of their salary, compared to the actual incomes generated by retirees:
|Country||Expectation (% of salary)||Actual (% of salary)||Difference|
|🇭🇰 Hong Kong||80||44||-36|
|🇰🇷 South Korea||67||45||-22|
|🇿🇦 South Africa||80||59||-21|
*Denotes countries with small sample sizes.
Not having enough money at retirement is a nearly universal issue, and 51% of employees with a workplace pension are worried that they won’t make enough to live their ideal retirement life.
Of course, there are always notable exceptions to every rule.
In India, for example, the reality of retirement is often better than anticipated. Non-retirees expect that 71% of their annual salary will provide what is needed to live comfortably in retirement, but in practice they get 96% of their salary in retirement—far higher than they thought.
Most Important Aspirations
The world is divided when it comes to working into retirement. The majority of people want to spend their retirement doing non-work related activities:
- Traveling: 60%
- Spending more time with friends and family: 57%
- Pursuing new hobbies: 49%
- Volunteer work: 27%
That said, 59% of employees in Italy, the U.S., and Australia expect to continue working while retired, while only 32% in the Netherlands have the same expectation. This may be partially due to the strength of the Dutch pension system, which is rated as one of the best in the world.
A Changing Retirement Landscape
The reality of retirement continues to evolve by country and by generation.
Today, only 15% of the population in developed countries is above 65 years of age—but by 2050, the proportion will more than double. People between the ages of 40 and 50 are known as the “Sandwich Generation” because they are simultaneously supporting their retired parents and their own children.
While increasing life expectancy affords people the luxury of spending more time with loved ones, will we be able to afford to live longer?
Charted: Public Trust in the Federal Reserve
Public trust in the Federal Reserve chair has hit its lowest point in 20 years. Get the details in this infographic.
- Gallup conducts an annual poll to gauge the U.S. public’s trust in the Federal Reserve
- After rising during the COVID-19 pandemic, public trust has fallen to a 20-year low
Charted: Public Trust in the Federal Reserve
Each year, Gallup conducts a survey of American adults on various economic topics, including the country’s central bank, the Federal Reserve.
More specifically, respondents are asked how much confidence they have in the current Fed chairman to do or recommend the right thing for the U.S. economy. We’ve visualized these results from 2001 to 2023 to see how confidence levels have changed over time.
Methodology and Results
The data used in this infographic is also listed in the table below. Percentages reflect the share of respondents that have either a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence.
|Year||Fed chair||% Great deal or Fair amount|
Data for 2023 collected April 3-25, with this statement put to respondents: “Please tell me how much confidence you have [in the Fed chair] to recommend the right thing for the economy.”
We can see that trust in the Federal Reserve has fluctuated significantly in recent years.
For example, under Alan Greenspan, trust was initially high due to the relative stability of the economy. The burst of the dotcom bubble—which some attribute to Greenspan’s easy credit policies—resulted in a sharp decline.
On the flip side, public confidence spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. This was likely due to Jerome Powell’s decisive actions to provide support to the U.S. economy throughout the crisis.
Measures implemented by the Fed include bringing interest rates to near zero, quantitative easing (buying government bonds with newly-printed money), and emergency lending programs to businesses.
Confidence Now on the Decline
After peaking at 58%, those with a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust in the Fed chair have tumbled to 36%, the lowest number in 20 years.
This is likely due to Powell’s hard stance on fighting post-pandemic inflation, which has involved raising interest rates at an incredible speed. While these rate hikes may be necessary, they also have many adverse effects:
- Negative impact on the stock market
- Increases the burden for those with variable-rate debts
- Makes mortgages and home buying less affordable
Higher rates have also prompted many U.S. tech companies to shrink their workforces, and have been a factor in the regional banking crisis, including the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank.
Where does this data come from?
Source: Gallup (2023)
Data Notes: Results are based on telephone interviews conducted April 3-25, 2023, with a random sample of –1,013—adults, ages 18+, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on this sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. See source for details.
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