Financial Literacy, Longevity Literacy, and Retirement Readiness

Insights Report

This report examines the relationship between financial literacy and retirement readiness. It also documents the state of longevity literacy among U.S. adults and examines the relationship between longevity literacy and retirement readiness as well.


Six years of data from the TIAA Institute-GFLEC Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index) clearly demonstrate that adults with greater financial literacy tend to have better financial well-being. This report shows that retirement readiness, a specific realm of financial well-being, likewise tends to be better among those with greater financial literacy. In addition, it shows that retirement readiness is also related to longevity literacy.

Key Insights

  • Financial literacy and longevity literacy are both positively associated with retirement readiness. 
  • Retirees with high financial literacy were more likely to plan and save for retirement while still working compared to retirees with low financial literacy. The ultimate outcome being that those with high financial literacy tend to have a better financial experience in retirement. For example, they are more likely to report that their lifestyle in retirement meets or exceeds their pre-retirement expectations.
  • Longevity literacy, like financial literacy, tends to be low among U.S. adults. Most lack a basic understanding of how long people tend to live in retirement. 
  • Retirees with strong longevity literacy more typically planned and saved for retirement while still working and now tend to experience better financial outcomes in retirement.

Women tend to have greater longevity literacy than men – 43% of women demonstrated strong longevity knowledge compared with 32% of men.


The 2022 P-Fin Index survey was completed online in January 2022 by 3,582 U.S. adults, ages 18 and older. Asian, Black and Hispanic Americans, as well as Gen Z, were oversampled, and the data were weighted to be nationally representative. The 2022 survey also included, for the first time, a question gauging longevity literacy.

Watch nowOpens in a new window

Watch CNBC Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson discuss financial and longevity literacy with Surya Kolluri, head of the TIAA Institute, and Annamaria Lusardi, founder of the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center at The George Washington University.


Andrea Hasler

GFLEC, The George Washington University

Annamaria Lusardi

GFLEC, The George Washington University

Paul Yakoboski

TIAA Institute

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