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BOSTON (TheStreet) -- A group of Baby Boomers were asked, as part of a survey by Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America, which they were more likely to guess correctly, how much money they'll have, or need, upon retirement or how many gumballs are in the jar at the local county fair.

Just over half (53%) felt confident in their ability to gauge their retirement income needs -- only 6 percentage points higher than those more certain of their gumball-guessing skills.

That insight underscores a dangerous reality when it comes to retirement planning: setting a savings target for many is a crapshoot. Sixty-one percent of the 3,257 Boomers surveyed by Allianz in May said they fear outliving their money in retirement more than they fear death.

A third of the respondents said they aren't clear about expenses in retirement, and 36% acknowledged they have no idea if their income will last.

A majority of respondents feel their retirement lifestyle must surpass their parents (79%), indicating a need to focus on income in retirement versus accumulation of assets.

When asked how much yearly income is needed in retirement, respondents indicated a median income of $59,000 a year. As a group, those polled as part of the "Reclaiming the Future" study were off by a factor of nearly three times too small when estimating how much they'd need to save to create that household income.

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-- Reported by Joe Mont in Boston.


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