In the case of retirement
Lacking a Degree Can Hurt Retirement
Workers with only a high school diploma are significantly less likely to have access to a company-sponsored 401(k) or similar plan compared with those with a college degree, the study says. Just 60% of workers who have only a high school diploma report being offered a 401(k) or similar plan by their employer, compared with 71% of workers with some college education, 78% of workers with a college degree and 83% who have had postgraduate education.
Of those workers who do have access to a 401(k) or similar plan, workers with only a high school diploma had a lower participation rate (63%) versus those with a college degree (84%) or postgraduate education (87%).
Workers with only a high school education are significantly more likely to have "guessed" their retirement savings needs compared with those with college or postgrad degrees, Transamerica says. While most workers agree they could work until age 65 and not save enough to meet retirement needs, three-quarters of high school graduates with no college education agree with this sentiment compared with just over 60% of college graduates.
"It is really scary to think there are so many workers that plan to work past age 70, or not retire at all, because it is all predicated on the assumption that they are able to work, that they don't find themselves forced out of an employment situation with a family or personal illness, which is unfortunately more likely to increase with age," Collinson says. "If you run out of money, at 80 it is going to be really difficult to find a job.
More than one-third of workers with only a high school diploma expect to rely on Social Security for their primary source of income in retirement. More than half of those with a college degree expect their 401(k), 403(b) and IRAs to be a primary source of income.