Can You Retire Comfortably? Confidence Rebounds Some from Post-Crisis Lows

Can You Retire Comfortably? Confidence Rebounds Some from Post-Crisis LowsConfidence in the ability to retire comfortably hit record lows in the aftermath of the financial crisis starting in 2009. But the outlook is improving.
Eighteen percent are now very confident (up from 13 percent in 2013), while 37 percent are somewhat confident, according to a newly-released annual survey on retirement confidence by the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
Twenty-four percent are not at all confident about retirement (statistically unchanged from 28 percent in 2013), says the EBRI.
This increased confidence is seen almost exclusively among those with higher household income. But confidence was strongly correlated with household participation in a retirement plan (including an individual retirement account (IRA)).
Nearly half of workers without a retirement plan were not at all confident about their financial security in retirement, compared with only about 1 in 10 with a plan.
Fifty-eight percent of workers and 44 percent of retirees report having a problem with their level of debt. Moreover, 24 percent of workers and 17 percent of retirees indicate that their current level of debt is higher than it was five years ago.
This year’s report “finds that Americans’ confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement has rebounded somewhat from the record lows of the past five years. However, this increased level of confidence does not appear to be founded on improved retirement preparations, according to the report.
Life insurance is also a concern among people who are retired.
No one likes to think too much about getting older, but during retirement, it is important to have plans in place to protect loved ones should anything unexpected happen. For this reason, a lot of retired people turn to term life insurance and other policies that can take care of families financially in case anything were to happen.
Furthermore, having a retirement account of some sort, particularly through a work-sponsored platform, such as a 401(K) is a vital factor.
Sixty-four percent of workers report they or their spouse have saved for retirement (statistically equivalent to 66 percent in 2013), although nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) full-time workers say that they or their spouse have done so.
“Here again, participation in a retirement plan mattered: 90 percent of workers participating in a retirement plan had saved for retirement, compared with just 1 in 5 of those without a retirement plan,” the EBRI found.

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