Nearly one-third of Americans are not protected for retirement, meaning they are dependent on Social Security as the sole source of retirement income, according to a report by the Alliance for Lifetime Income.

Sixty-three percent are without lifetime income sources such as annuities or pensions, the report said.

Meanwhile, 80% express anxiety that their savings may not provide enough to live on in retirement, and 44% of those not yet retired indicated they are moderately to extremely anxious about their preparedness for retirement.

The latter group, the report said, cited rising healthcare costs, the risk of a financial surprise, and health issue or not having enough lifetime income as the top concerns.

The report, the second in an ongoing research program, tracks the level of protected/unprotected households in the U.S. and provides insights into consumers’ attitudes and behaviors around retirement-income planning. The study was conducted online in May among a Census-balanced cross-section of 3,119 U.S. adults ages 25-74.

Perhaps the most surprising of the findings is that more than half (57%) of Americans closest to retirement age (55 to 74) have not taken the time to calculate their financial needs in retirement.

Jean Chatzky, educational fellow with the Alliance and founder and CEO of HerMoney, pointed out that many Americans shy away from running the numbers – preferring to guess at what they will need for retirement because planning is overwhelming. But she advises to start with the tangibles: the type of house you think you'll live in (and whether it will be paid off), the car you'll drive, how often you go out to eat, what you'll need for healthcare above Medicare. Add it up and figure out how much Social Security will or won't cover.

The report also found that retired Americans (71%) are more confident their savings will take them throughout their life, while only four in 10 of those not yet retired said the same.

It also noted that the most important question non-retired Americans face is “How much income they will have in retirement.” Yet, they don’t take planning seriously. Eighty percent do not have a specific financial plan that they follow, the report noted and only 28% have made the effort to determine their likely monthly income needs in retirement.

A majority of respondents did indicate that they believe they can successfully plan for retirement, but one in five are uncertain about what steps to take to prepare for their future.

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