A new AARP New Jersey survey finds that there is a great deal of angst among New Jerseyans when it comes to their ability to afford retirement.

Many New Jerseyans in a recent AARP survey are concerned about saving for retirement. (Jupiterimages, ThinkStock)
Many New Jerseyans in a recent AARP survey are concerned about saving for retirement. (Jupiterimages, ThinkStock)

Sixty-five percent of the 1,000 people surveyed said they were anxious about being financially independent or secure in retirement.

"We know that 86 percent of people eventually expect to retire," AARP New Jersey Pension Expert Sarah Gill said. "People really are worried about not being able to save enough money, whether or not they have enough money or have access to retirement plans. They certainly are worried about inflation, and I think a lot of the folks who are saving for retirement have that worry."

According to Gill, what worries people most is not necessarily things like visiting grandchildren or being able to afford Christmas presents. For most, routine expenses such as bills and healthcare are the primary concerns.

"People are worried about inflation, they are worried about healthcare, and frankly one of the things that we are usually surprised about when we get the survey results is that people are worried about meeting their basic needs," Gill said.

The AARP is backing proposed legislation that would allow employers to help workers save for retirement with payroll deductions.

"People are 15 times more likely to save if they can do so at work via their regular paycheck," Gill said.

The Secure Choice legislation It would create a backup, "plug and play" option for small businesses. According to AARP, it would allow all of those 1.7-million workers in New Jersey who do not have access to retirement plans at work to gain access to a savings plan.

Gill said AARP was really surprised by how strong bipartisan support for the Secure Choice legislation is in Trenton. She said according to the survey, 4 out of 5 people in the Garden State said they believe lawmakers should be doing more to make it easier for New Jerseyans to save for retirement.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon drive anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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