'Retirement Confidence Survey' Not So Confident
A few stats stood out:-- The percentage of workers "not at all confident" about having enough money for a comfortable retirement grew to 27%, the highest in the survey's 21 years. And even the confident aren't so confident anymore. The percentage of "very confident" would-be retirees dipped to 13%.
-- A whopping 29% of respondents said they have less than $1,000 in savings, and 56% calculated their total value of savings and investments (not including a home and benefit plan) to be less than $25,000.
-- 58% have made no attempt whatsoever at figuring out how much they'll need to retire.
The study, backed in part by companies that sell retirement products, called the gloom "the new normal." The authors remarked that workers appear more resigned to a diminished post-career lifestyle than to actually making changes to improve their prospects. Seventy-four percent reported that they plan to work in retirement (but then is it really retirement?) -- a three-fold increase over the percentage of current retirees who said they are employed.
"These results could be seen as pessimistic, but I view them as realistic and positive," said Jack VanDerhei, research director at the Employee Benefit Research Institute. "They show that people may be starting to realize the level of savings they will realistically need for a comfortable retirement. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans are worried about their retirement prospects."
There was a sliver of optimism in the actual numbers. Among those already retired, 60% were somewhat confident that they would have enough money until the end. But that's little comfort for those on the brink of retirement.