10 Places Americans Are Saving for Retirement

Woman putting money in a piggy bank
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock.com

Saving for retirement is always a good idea. But precisely how you save for your golden years can make a major difference in terms of the amount of money you end up with during your post-work years.

Recently, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies asked 5,846 adults where they save for retirement.

Their answers ran the gamut of available options. Following are the most popular ways U.S. adults say they save for retirement.

Business ownership

small business owner open door
Follow Focus / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 12%

Owning a business is one of the best and quickest ways to build wealth — if your venture is successful. Unfortunately, small businesses have a high failure rate.

But if you are ready to roll the dice and fortune smiles on you, this can be a great place to generate the income you need to fatten a nest egg.

Annuity

Retiree counting his coins
iJeab / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 14%

Annuities are a source of fierce debate: Are they a good investment or not?

As it turns out, the answer is largely “it depends.” Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson has shared his opinion on the topic many times. For more on Stacy’s take, check out:

Health savings account

Health savings account
Africa Studio / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 14%

It’s no secret that at Money Talks News, we are big fans of health savings accounts. An HSA offers some of the biggest and best tax advantages you will find in any savings vehicle.

HSAs also offer some surprising perks for retirees, as we point out in “5 Reasons This Is the Best Type of Retirement Account.”

Real estate other than primary residence

Senior landlord
fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 15%

Real estate has built tremendous wealth for many generations of Americans. Income properties also have the advantage of providing steady, continuous passive income well into your golden years.

For more, read “8 Ways to Invest in Real Estate for Retirement.”

Primary home

Couple in front of home
Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 25%

You may not need an income property to build riches. As many people have learned in recent years, the place you call home can be a great place to generate wealth in the form of equity.

Just remember that housing prices aren’t always guaranteed to go up, so it’s wise to look to other sources to supplement your retirement savings.

Life insurance policy

Casket
Syda Productions / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 30%

If you die, would your spouse or other family members be deprived of a large chunk of the income on which they depend? A life insurance policy can protect against this type of calamity.

Some people also purchase permanent life insurance, such as whole or universal policies, with the intention of tapping into its cash value in retirement.

Is that smart? Once again, check out Stacy’s take in “Which Is Better: Term or Whole Life Insurance?

IRA

investing
designer491 / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 36%

An IRA can be a great place to invest for your retirement, particularly if you don’t have a 401(k) plan at work.

However, before investing in an IRA, you must answer a big question: Roth or traditional? Stacy offers some insights in “Which Is Better — a Traditional or Roth Retirement Plan?

Brokerage account

Stock investor
Viktoriia Hnatiuk / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 36%

Those who are lucky to have extra savings can invest that money in a standard brokerage account after they hit the limits the government imposes on tax-advantaged retirement accounts.

This can be another great pool of money to draw on in retirement.

401(k) or similar plan

Woman holding money
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 48%

For decades, the 401(k) plan has been the “go-to” account for retirement investing. So it’s no surprise that nearly half of survey respondents keep retirement savings in these accounts.

Need a little extra motivation to save in your 401(k)? You’ll find it in “Here’s How Much a 401(k) Grows Every 5 Years.”

Bank account

Older woman using an ATM
alvan.ph / Shutterstock.com

Respondents with this type of retirement savings/investment: 61%

Few things are more secure than parking money in a bank account, especially if it’s insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

However, putting all of your money in a bank actually creates a big risk in retirement. Money kept in a bank account typically does not earn much of a return. In inflationary times — like those we are living through now — money in savings or checking accounts will likely lose its purchasing power relatively quickly.

So, as with a home, this is not an ideal place to house all your retirement money, even if it is a good option for at least some of those savings.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.