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  • Archive for March, 2011

    Not confident about your retirement? You’re not alone!

    Friday, March 18th, 2011

    Popular culture paints an image of retirement as one’s “golden years” spent walking on a beach and playing golf. Sadly, for most Americans, the thought of retirement actually makes them feel anything but relaxed.  Results from the 21st annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS), conducted by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), show that workers’ pessimism about their retirement is actually deepening. It seems that many of us believe that a comfortable retirement (and definitely that sandy beach!) may not be in our future.

    Some key findings from this survey show that…

    • – More than a quarter (27 percent) of workers now say they are “not at all confident” about retirement, up 5 percentage points from the level measured just one year ago.
    • – The percentage of workers saying they are “very confident” of a comfortable retirement ties with 2009 at 13 percent—the lowest rate ever measured by the RCS.
    • – A third of all Americans (34 percent of workers, 33 percent or retirees) say they had to tap an IRA, 401(k), savings or investment accounts, or had to take a loan against those accounts, in order to pay for basic expenses. However, those who had retirement savings accounts—such as 401(k)s and IRAs—were far less likely to tap their savings than those who did not have these accounts.
    • – The RCS continues to find that many people do not plan or save for retirement. While 59 percent of all workers say they are currently saving for retirement, more than half (56 percent) say they have less than $25,000 in savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary residence and any defined benefit (pension) plans.
    • – A significant number of workers (20 percent) say they now intend to retire later (at an older age) than they had planned. Of those who say they will retire later,  the main reason cited was the poor economy (36 percent), a lack of faith in Social Security or the government (16 percent), a change in employment situation (15 percent), or because they can’t afford to retire (13 percent).
    • – About a third (31 percent) of workers say they will need less than $250,000 to afford a comfortable retirement.
    • – Yet almost half (45 percent) are not too or not at all confident they and their spouse will be able to save as much as they think they need, and 70 percent say they are a little or a lot behind schedule in planning and saving for retirement.
    • – Well over a third (42 percent) say they determined their retirement savings needs by guessing.

    While these results reflect the negative economic and financial climate today, it is never too late to makes changes that can boost your savings and build your confidence for retirement.

    WISER has many helpful tools and fact sheets to put you on the road to a confident retirement today:

    To see the full survey report, visit EBRI’s website at http://www.ebri.org/surveys/rcs/2011/

    · A third of all Americans (34 percent of workers, 33 percent or retirees) say they had to tap an IRA, 401(k), savings or investment accounts, or had to take a loan against those accounts, in order to pay for basic expenses. However, those who had retirement savings accounts—such as 401(k)s and IRAs—were far less likely to tap their savings than those who did not have these accounts.

    WISER

    About Us

    WISER is a nonprofit organization that works to help women, educators and policymakers understand the important issues surrounding women's retirement income. WISER creates a variety of consumer publications including fact sheets, booklets and a quarterly newsletter that explain in easy-to-understand language the complex issues surrounding Social Security, divorce, pay equity, pensions, savings and investments, banking, home-ownership, long-term care and disability insurance.

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