A new survey says Americans’ confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement has recovered slightly from the record lows of the past five years—primarily among those participating in retirement plans. But overall, actual preparations for retirement haven’t improved. The Retirement Confidence Survey, released by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, and co-sponsored by the Principal Financial Group ®, finds:
- Eighteen percent of workers are now very confident, up from 13 percent in 2013
- Retiree confidence increased even more with 28 percent now very confident, up from 18 percent in 2013
- Workers have high savings goals: Twenty-two percent of workers say they need to save between 20 and 29 percent of their income. Another 22 percent indicate they need to save 30 percent or more. However, those without a retirement plan (IRA, defined contribution, or defined benefit) are more likely to set the target at 50 percent of income or to say they don’t know how much they need to save.
- Most haven’t calculated savings needs. Only 44 percent of workers report they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they will need to have saved for a comfortable retirement. But workers who do, tend to have higher levels of savings and confidence than those who have not.
- Best laid plans: Sixty-five percent of workers expect to work for pay in retirement but only 27 percent of retirees report they actually do work for pay in retirement. Nearly half say they retired earlier than planned due to health reasons.