Older Americans Have Low Levels of Retirement Income Literacy, Study Finds

Older Americans have low levels of retirement income literacy, but have high levels of self-reported knowledge, finds a study from the Journal of Financial Planning.

Researchers found older Americans lacked knowledge of important retirement income literacy topics, like Social Security, annuities and sustaining retirement income.

Researchers conducted a survey in 2014 and in 2017 using a 20-minute online interview. It consisted of 1,244 respondents between the ages of 60 and 75.

Their results showed only 26 percent of participants could pass the literacy quiz with a score of 60 percent or greater, while 88 percent self-reported that they were moderately to extremely knowledgeable about retirement income planning.

When it came to specific topics, respondents showed the highest level of knowledge about Medicare with an average score of 76 percent, while they showed the lowest level of knowledge about annuities, with an average score of 20 percent.