Americans nearing retirement are struck with fear over their ability to maintain an adequate income after they retire, according to a new survey.

In February, Schroders surveyed 1,000 U.S. investors between the ages of 45 and 75. What it found about their retirement concerns was startling.

The survey found the following among those not yet retired:

  • 33% are “terrified” about giving up regular paychecks.
  • 53% are “concerned” about how they will cope without a regular paycheck.
  • 55% do not believe they will be able to replace even three-quarters of their paycheck in retirement.

Moreover, of those already retired, 49% don't have any strategies to generate retirement income, instead expecting to count on withdrawals from savings and 401(k)s.

“More needs to be done to educate participants on the importance of higher income replacement,” said Joel Schiffman, head of strategic partnerships at Schroders in New York, in a statement. “That comes from planning for retirement income early in their careers.”

Schroders, a London-based multinational asset management company founded in 1804, also concluded that 86% of non-retired Americans age 45 and up are “aware they could receive higher Social Security payments by delaying the start of their benefits,” but only 11% actually plan to wait to age 70, when their benefits would be maximized.

Roughly a third simply expect they will need the money sooner, but almost a third said they won’t wait because they’re concerned Social Security may run out of money.

Of those between 60 and 65 but not yet retired, 38% said they won’t wait for Social Security because they will need the money sooner. Only 11% of this older group said they will wait to age 70.

“Delaying Social Security to increase your benefit is a tried and true means of generating more income in retirement, but it’s a path few are prepared to take,” said Schiffman.

Of those who participate in a workplace retirement plan, 48% said their plan offers retirement-income products. In that group, 89% are likely to use the product when they retire, keeping assets in the employer plan. Among those who don’t have that option or aren’t sure if they do, 62% said they wish their employer offered a retirement income product.

The No. 1 feature that workplace plan participants want from their plan’s retirement-income solution is guaranteed lifetime income. That’s what 52% of those respondents said. Close behind, at 49% of plan participants surveyed, is the desire for consistent, monthly, paycheck-like income in retirement.

“More progress needs to be made to help defined contribution participants make the transition from saving to spending,” said Mr. Schiffman.