Many Americans have pushed aside saving for retirement as they deal with the challenges of inflation, market volatility and other financial crises, according to the latest study from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

And there is no telling when they will get back on track. For example, 46% of Americans who said they cut back or stopped saving for retirement do not expect to increase their savings levels anytime soon. Also, nearly 40% who indicated that their retirement strategy is derailed are not sure when or how they will get it back on track. Moreover, 56% consider “financial crises” as a permanent part of their retirement planning.

Conducted in February and March, the national online study of 1,000 adults further found that 49% of respondents cited rising everyday costs as one of the greatest risks to their retirement income. That percentage has climbed from 44% in 2022 and 38% in 2021, the study noted.

While the study found that 61% of respondents said they are more afraid of running out of money than they are of death, Allianz Life pointed out that many are not setting themselves up for a successful financial future and retirement. For example, 47% of respondent do not have a financial plan for retirement and said they will just figure it out when they get there; 56% don’t know where to start planning beyond having a basic retirement account like a 401(k) or an Individual Retirement Account (IRA); and only 42% have a written financial plan.

Such sentiments are cause for concern. Kelly LaVigne, vice president of consumer insights, Allianz Life, said in a statement, “People’s retirements are too important to leave to chance. ... The key takeaway here is that the new retirement reality requires everyone, now more than ever, to have a plan and stick to it. The good news is, even in these uncertain times, proper planning will go a long way toward securing your retirement goals."

As for how the different generations view retirement readiness, baby boomers, for one, believe the generations after them are more financially challenged. Seven in 10 boomers believe today’s overall financial climate makes it much harder for younger adults to balance savings and spending compared to when they were young.

Seventy percent of boomers, the study found, believe they have a better financial situation overall compared to their parents at their age, compared to 55% of Gen Xers and 61% of millennials; 66% of boomers feel more financially prepared for retirement compared to their parents, compared to 54% of Gen Xers and 60% of millennials; and 63% of millennials and 47% of Gen Xers say it is taking them much longer to reach certain milestones like owning a house compared to their parents.

More than any other generation, Gen Xers (those born between 1964 and 1978), the study found, find it more challenging to plan for retirement in today’s financial climate. “Unlike millennials, who still have ample time to save before retirement, and boomers, many of whom are already in retirement, Gen X is realizing that retirement is getting closer and they may not be ready, nor do they have a clear picture of how to get there,” the study noted, adding that their confidence in their ability to financially support the things they want to do going forward is the lowest among generations (69% Gen X, 76% millennials and 86% boomers).