State of financial preparedness in a diverse America: New evidence on gaps, opportunities and challenges

Insights Report

Most Americans have saved at least some money toward retirement. But retirement readiness looks markedly different across racial and ethnic groups.


When it comes to retirement, there is a lot for Americans to consider. There are big-picture decisions like when to retire and what to do in retirement. But there are also tactical decisions with significant implications—when to start saving, how to save and how much to save. This report sheds light on how Americans across demographic groups are making these decisions, and what people’s attitudes and experiences today suggest for our nation’s financial future.

Key Insights

  • Two thirds of Americans are saving for retirement, but nearly one in four don’t know how much they have saved.
  • Fewer than half of non-retirees are “very” or “somewhat” confident they will retire when intended. People ages 22-34 and Hispanic Americans tend to be least confident.
  • 44% of households have less than $50,000 in liquid investable assets, and one in four Hispanic Americans, Black Americans and Native Americans have none.
  • One in four Black Americans expect to pursue paid employment for income in retirement—that’s at least 10 percentage points higher than any other race or ethnicity.
  • One in eight Americans could not come up with $2,000 to pay for an unexpected need.

This research informs efforts underway to address America’s retirement crisis and close equity gaps.


The survey was conducted online in May and June 2023 using KnowledgePanel,® which provides a statistically valid representation of the U.S. population, and included 1,684 U.S. adults ages 22-75.

1 in 4 don't know how much money they have saved for retirement
Surya Kolluri

TIAA Institute

Anne Ollen

TIAA Institute

David P. Richardson

TIAA Institute

Ryan Tully


Emily Sprague


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