Many Americans Still Clueless About Retirement Saving
With the economy stabilizing, things appear to be getting back to normal.
That's bad news.
I'm talking about the results of the latest
The study, now on its 20th year, has been conducted from the beginning by the research firm
This year's survey, based on telephone interviews conducted in January, found that the record-low confidence levels during the past two years appear to have bottomed out.
"Americans' attitudes toward retirement have clearly tracked the economy the last couple of years, and that seems to be the case for 2010," said
For example, the percentage of American workers who say they're very confident they'll have enough money for a comfortable retirement has stabilized at 16 percent, up from the 20-year low of 13 percent in 2009. (The numbers are statistically equivalent, however, given the survey's margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.) And 29 percent are very confident they'll have enough for at least basic expenses in retirement, up from 25 percent in 2009.
Altogether, 54 percent of American workers are at least somewhat confident of having a comfortable retirement, same as in 2009, and 75 percent are at least somewhat confident they'll be able to cover at least their basic expenses, compared to 74 percent in 2009.
The stabilizing numbers are hardly reason to celebrate, however. The way I see it, they merely reflect again the false confidence that had characterized survey findings consistently before the economic downturn.
"It would be encouraging to find that Americans have bolstered their retirement confidence by improving their preparations for retirement, but that may not be the case," said the study, titled "Confidence Stabilizing, But Preparations Continue to Erode." In fact, as the study reports, "the retirement preparations reported by some workers are eroding, leaving them less prepared for retirement."
For example, fewer American workers say they and/or their spouse have saved for retirement at some point (69 percent, down from 75 percent in 2009). Fewer say that they and/or their spouse are currently saving for retirement (60 percent, down from 65 percent in 2009).
A "distressing" number of Americans have little or no savings, VanDerhei said, with 27 percent (up from 20 percent in 2009) saying they have less than
American workers also are "clueless" about savings goals, the study found. Fewer than half (46 percent) say they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how much money they'll need for a comfortable retirement.
And yet doing so (for help, see Web site www.choosetosave.org) can yield enormous benefits. Rather than being discouraged by the results and giving up savings, Americans who do a retirement-needs calculation tend to be more confident and better prepared for retirement - and more likely to take action to improve their situation, the studies have found.
- How to Avoid the Marriage Tax
- The Challenge of Deducting Medical Expenses
- Health Care Reform Overhaul: What Happens When
- Older Americans Comment on Health Care Reform
- Big Changes Coming to Student Loans
- Many Americans Still Clueless About Retirement Saving
- Affording a Stay-at-home Mom?
- 21 Ways to Cut Expenses in Retirement
- New Frugality Emerging for Retirement
- Gen Y to Banks: Do Better
- Deducting Hobby Expenses: Think Business
- Sadly Bad Advise Abounds on Roth IRA Conversions
- Medigap Plans Cooking Up New Alphabet Soup
- Identity Theft May Be Prelude to More Serious Crime
- Automatic Saving Plans for Emergency & Retirement Funds
- New Tax Provisions Make Filing More Complicated This Year
- Not All 401(k) Plans Are Created Equal
- Time to Prepare Your Will
- Bigger Tax Break for Writing Off Costs of College
- The Secret to Being Poor
- Bad Day? 5 Tips to Keep Your Motivation
- 8 Factors that Determine Your Final 401(k) Balance
- How to Tell if You Are Saving Enough for Retirement
- Financial Help For Women: 5 Effective Strategies
- New Credit Card Rules Triggering More Higher Fees
- Roth Conversion Can Be Good Move, But Consider These Caveats
Personal Finance - Many Americans Still Clueless About Retirement Saving
(c) 2010 Humberto Cruz,