Thursday, March 25, 2010

Retirement & Savings: How Confident Are We?

According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s newly released 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, one quarter of workers surveyed stated that they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year, due in large part to a combination of a poor economy and a lack of financial security for the future (i.e. little to no savings). For 33% of workers, this means retiring after the age of 65; a major increase from 19% a decade ago.

There is encouraging news to be found in this survey as the results show that Americans’ confidence in their ability to retire one day appears to be stabilizing. However, while confidence is up, reality paints a more somber picture. According to the data, there is still much to be done to boost Americans’ savings. Let’s take a closer look at the data:

Fewer are saving: Fewer workers report that they and/or their spouse have saved for retirement (69%, down from 75% in 2009). Moreover, fewer workers say that they and/or their spouse are currently saving for retirement (60%, down from 65% in 2009).

Ranks of those with no savings are growing: An increased percentage of workers report they have virtually no savings and investments. In total, more than half of workers (54%) report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and any defined benefit plans, is less than $25,000.

Clueless about savings goals: Many workers continue to be unaware of how much they need to save for retirement. Less than half of workers (46%) report they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they can live comfortably in retirement.

Sources of retirement income: Fewer workers are expecting to receive retirement income from Social Security (77%, down from 88% in 1991) and defined benefit plans (56%, down from 62% in 2005). However, more workers report they will rely on employer-sponsored retirement savings plans (75% in 2010, up from 69% in 2005) and employment income (77%, up from 70% in 2005).

While the survey results may seem discouraging, this does not have to be everyone’s reality. It is never too late to change your financial situation for the future and start saving. Check out some of WISER’s helpful tips to get you back on track to a financially secure retirement.

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