How Will You Save, America?

Americans Ready to Save for their Financial Futures but Need Help

New York, October 18, 2010

Americans understand the importance of saving for retirement and want to save more, but don’t know where to begin, according to a new survey released today by TIAA-CREF to mark the start of National Save for Retirement Week.

Among the “TIAA-CREF Saving in America” survey’s major findings:

  • Ninety-three percent of Americans realize that saving is essential for financial security.
  • Seventy-seven percent aspire to save more for retirement next year.
  • Eighty-two percent admit that they don’t know what it takes to save.
  • Sixty-five percent say they will be unable to retire in the manner they hoped.

More than one in three Americans (39%) are not saving for retirement at all.

“Many people know they need to save but are unsure how to begin,” said Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., chief executive of TIAA-CREF. “National Save for Retirement Week presents an opportunity for people to take advantage of savings opportunities, objective advice and educational information that can help them plan and achieve the future they envision for themselves. It’s time for a national dialogue that can help more Americans, including the nearly forty percent who do not save for retirement at all, get started.”

According to the survey, more than three-quarters of Americans (78%) rely on themselves to make household financial decisions. However, more than half (55%) say don’t know much about finance.

While many people report buying things on sale and taking other steps to save money, eighty-five percent of people admit to spending the money they save rather than depositing the savings in a financial account.

Objective advice, guidance and education from TIAA-CREF

To help people realize their financial futures, TIAA-CREF recommends objective financial advice that can address their unique needs. TIAA-CREF offers personalized objective advice to the more than 3.7 million participants in the academic, research, medical and nonprofit fields. TIAA-CREF advisors are available to meet with participants in more than 60 offices nationwide, via the phone or online.

To demystify saving and help more people get started, today TIAA-CREF debuts the first in a series of animated short videos to help Americans map out a financial plan. See it here.

“Raise the Rate” Competition Update

This week TIAA-CREF will announce the winner of a $25,000 endowment prize to the college or university that submitted the most entries for “Raise the Rate,” a competition to generate innovative ideas for increasing America’s personal savings rate to ten percent, almost double what is today, while improving peoples’ understanding of their own savings.

The competition, which has garnered more than 1000 entries, will award a $50,000 grand prize to the entry that receives the most votes from a panel of judges that includes Maria Bartiromo, host of CNBC’s “Closing Bell;” Aaron Patzer, founder of; Dan Ariely, author, Duke University professor and economist and head of the eRationality research group at the MIT Media Lab; and TIAA-CREF CEO Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.

For information, visit

TIAA-CREF ( is a national financial services organization with $434 billion in combined assets under management (as of 9/30/10) and provides retirement services to the academic, research, medical and cultural fields.

Survey Methodology
On behalf of TIAA-CREF, StrategyOne conducted an online survey among a random sample of 2,000 U.S. adults, ages 21-65, representative of the national population with oversamples of 300 in each of the following states: Washington, North Carolina and Michigan. The survey was conducted online between October 1 and 3, 2010, and has an overall margin of error of ±3% at the 95% level of confidence.

About StrategyOne
StrategyOne ( is a strategic research firm providing evidence-based stakeholder insights, analysis and media measurement. StrategyOne is owned by Daniel J. Edelman, Inc., the world’s largest independent PR company, and specializes in multi-country reputation, branding and communications research with offices in New York, London, Paris, Washington DC, Chicago, Silicon Valley, Abu Dhabi and Atlanta.

Chad Peterson
212 916-4808

TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services, LLC and Teachers Personal Investors Services, Inc., members FINRA, distribute securities products.

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