Day to day financial concerns tend to overshadow long-term needs such as retirement saving, even though Americans are increasingly responsible for personally saving for their retirement, according to the Center for Retirement Research.
A study compared the focus on immediate concerns—such as covering ongoing expenses, debt burdens or inability to access cash in the short term—with more distant ones including retirement savings, college savings, and mortgages.
It found that the shorter-term concerns in each case weighed more heavily on people’s minds when asked about their financial condition, even among those who are generally more satisfied with their current finances. “Day-to-day worries still appear to trump distant concerns even for households who face fewer pressing financial challenges,” it said.
Nor was there a notable increase in long-term planning among those who are the most financially literate, it said. “Thus households, by themselves, cannot be expected to devote much effort to addressing long-term saving goals.”