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AMERICANS ARE FILLING RETIREMENT SAVINGS GAPS, GALLUP SURVEY FINDS; 34 PERCENT ARE INCREASING RETIREMENT SAVINGS THIS YEAR

 BOSTON, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- An overwhelming majority of Americans say they are willing to institute their own "retirement savings gap reduction programs" in order to put more aside for retirement, according to a Gallup survey released today by Fidelity Investments. The nationwide survey also found that one-third (34 percent) of respondents have started to fill the gap by saving more money for retirement this year than they did last.
 The Gallup survey found that 74 percent of the respondents are willing to reduce their personal spending to save more for their retirement. Even more dramatic is the finding that eight out of ten younger Americans, those under 40 years of age, are willing to cut personal spending in favor of retirement. Among all respondents, the mean amount of annual spending they would be willing to cut in order to save more was $4,158.
 "As we enter an era of national belt-tightening, the survey clearly shows that Americans are examining their personal spending and looking for ways to eliminate the gap, or deficit, they face between what they're currently saving and what they need to save for a financially secure retirement," said Roger T. Servison, president of Fidelity Retail Services.
 Filling the Retirement Gap
 Evidence that Americans are working to fill their retirement gap is reflected in a more than 65 percent surge in mutual funds sales during the past two years, which is being fueled by retirement savings. Fidelity, the largest U.S. mutual fund company, estimates that at least 60 percent of the money people have invested in its funds is earmarked for retirement.
 The new Gallup survey indicates Americans are willing to make an even greater commitment. Sixty-two percent of the respondents said they are willing to reduce their personal spending by at least $1,000 a year so they can save more for retirement. Forty-six percent of the respondents said they would cut their spending between $2,000 and $5,000 in order to increase their retirement savings.
 Given a list of specific categories, a majority said they would reduce their personal spending in the following areas: dining out (identified by 72 percent of the respondents); entertainment and leisure activities (67 percent); clothing (59 percent); gift-giving (58 percent); energy costs (54 percent) and


vacation/travel (53 percent).
 The survey also found that those who have refinanced their mortgages are most often using the savings to pay down debt (indicated by 40 percent of the respondents) or to save for long-term needs such as retirement and children's college (17 percent).
 Increasing Concerns About Retirement Savings
 The Gallup survey of household financial decision-makers found increasing concern over the amount they have saved for retirement. Only one-third (33 percent) of the respondents said they are satisfied with what they have put away for retirement, a significant decline from a 1990 Fidelity/Gallup survey. In that survey, 41 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied with the amount they had saved for retirement.
 Two-thirds (67 percent) of the respondents said planning for retirement is the most important reason for saving, a nine percent increase from a Fidelity/Gallup survey conducted last year.
 But the survey also indicated increasing concern over issues that may affect the ability to save for retirement. Worries cited most frequently were health care costs requiring a greater portion of personal assets (cited by 71 percent); the government's ability to meet people's needs in the year 2000 (70 percent), and inflation's erosion of their savings (56 percent).
 Americans Not Happy With Their Retirement Know-How
 Americans expressed growing concern over their lack of knowledge about effective retirement planning. Sixty-two percent of the respondents indicated they are less than satisfied that they know enough about planning for their financial future.
 This dissatisfaction came as no surprise in that the respondents scored an average of 65 percent, of a "D," on the National Retirement I.Q. Quiz that was part of the Gallup survey. In two previous quizzes administered in 1990 and 1992, the average score was a "D" as well.
 The Gallup survey of 1,000 telephone interviews was conducted from March 3 to March 6. 1993. It was made up of a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.
 Fidelity Investments, a mutual fund and brokerage firm, manages more than $200 billion in assets for individuals, corporations and tax-exempt institutions. Headquartered in Boston, Fidelity has 66 walk-in Investor Centers across the country to serve the needs of individual investors.
 -0- 3/23/93
 /CONTACT: Kimberly Dobbins of Fidelity Investments, 312-726-4403, or Keith Hughes of Ketchum Public Relations, 212-536-8773, for Fidelity Investments/


CO: Fidelity Investments ST: Massachusetts IN: FIN SU:

TS-LD -- NY005 -- 8499 03/23/93 08:23 EST
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Date:Mar 23, 1993
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