Anxiety over retirement grows
Even people who have done a better job of saving are worried.
This post comes from Anne Tergesen at partner site SmartMoney.
According to a recently released survey of 800 voters nationwide, 50% of respondents with $100,000 or less in savings are feeling less confident about their retirement prospects today than they were a year ago. The surprise? Among those with more than $100,000 in savings, the same percentage -- 49%, to be precise -- are feeling just as insecure.
"That is a stunner," says Bill McInturff, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies LLC, which conducted the poll for Americans for Secure Retirement. The group is a coalition of more than 70 organizations -- ranging from the Hispanic Business Roundtable to the American Council of Life Insurers -- that is dedicated to raising awareness about "the importance of guaranteed lifetime income, whether through annuities" or similar options within 401k plans, says Lindsay Gilbride, a spokeswoman for the organization. Its website says it is particularly concerned about "Americans with little or no access to employer-sponsored plans."
Normally, McInturff says, "people with higher savings have a lot less anxiety than those with lower savings." But clearly, he adds, the impact of simultaneous declines in the housing, stock, and labor markets has taken a toll on the outlook of even the wealthiest Americans. Post continues after video from earlier this year.
"Those changes are not just affecting middle-income people. They are also having a powerful affect on the affluent." (Are you saving enough for retirement? Try MSN Money's calculator.)
Among the survey's other findings:
- One out of every two Americans say they are less confident today about their retirement outlook than they were a year ago.
- Those closest to retirement have experienced the greatest loss in confidence, with 62% of those ages 45 to 54 and 60% of those ages 55 to 64 reporting a loss of confidence compared with a year ago. (In contrast, only 40% of those ages 60 and over -- a population with less at stake in the stock market -- say they are less confident than they were last year at this time.)
- 50% of respondents believe Social Security and Medicare should be off-limits to budget cutters.
- 88% of respondents say they are concerned about being able to maintain a comfortable standard of living throughout retirement -- up from 73% last September.
That last statistic -- which shows an erosion from an already high level of retirement insecurity -- is cause for alarm, says McInturff. "If you had asked me a year ago whether retirement confidence would further erode from 73% to 88%, I would have said no. That's a big concern."
More on SmartMoney and MSN Money:
I'm 61 and planning on retiring at 62. Thankfully I've been a saver all my working life so I have more than $100K saved. However, don't think I'm not shaky about retiring....because I definitely am. The reason why I'm retiring - 1. I'm tired of working. Over 44 yrs. now. I want to go and play. 2. I need to spend time with my aging family. We don't get out of this life alive. 3. I want to relocate and get more land and have my idea of a perfect house built. I'm tired of the rat race. 4. I want to take up crafts that I have always wanted to do and maybe even go back to golfing where I was a 4 handicap. 5. I want to take some classes - art, painting, history, opera, etc.
There are more things in life than just working. I need to move on and become me again.
My 2020 retirement plan.
Turn 65, rob a bank. Go to prison.
Room, 3 squares/day, and health care.
Retirement? Whats that? In my mid 40s, that word no longer exists for me.
Maybe I should just stop worrying and enjoy life until the money runs out . . . perhaps spend it before inflation eats it away, or the politicians tax it away.
@ cva15: The real problem is people like YOU. People who think that there is one specific group of people to blame for this. You probably spread your diseased propaganda to anyone who will listen and infect countless others. Why didn't you mention "thank you Bush and Republicans for spending us into bankruptcy with your wars on 'terror"? Yeah, you are so right...it is all of the left-wing liberals who have no values or moral fiber. I guess that Mark Foley (had inappropriate relationships with his underage male pages) and Larry Craig (solicited male police officer in airport restroom) were just Republicans by title. They were secretly Democrats. You are such a pathetic loser that you can't see that it is BOTH parties that are killing us. You have no ability to think for yourself. Someone else told you how to vote a long time ago, and you are just too stupid or lazy to do it any different now. Closed-minded and ignorant is a dangerous combination. Wanna know why things never change in this country? Because people like you who don't think there is anything wrong (at least with the people you vote for). You deserve to have to work the rest of your life!
And they should be anxious.
Firstly, there is no real money in the Social Security fund; this pay as you go has just IOU's in the form of bonds, locked up in a cabinet in Virginia. The bonds are a promise to the American Public that the Gov will deliver-however, money has to be borrowed. Remember what president Obama stated during the budget negotiations-that SS checks would not be mailed if the budget was not passed. Which means that money had to be borrowed to make payments.
401Ks/stock options-if someone had 300K and took out 4% per year that's 12000 dollars a year or 1000 dollars a month. Adequate? Not, if SS vanishes and pensions are cut. Most people don't have 300K; fewer have 500K, very very few a million. With the stock market doing its downward spiral-not much hope there.
Then there is the book Aftershock that everyone should read. many love it some hate it. This could happen soon. Then retirement will be impossible.
Note on the Social Security IOUs: the year 2037 is fictitious. If payments cannot be made SS and Medicare stops. This could happen with the inability of the Gov to borrow more money or economic failure. Plus, less people are putting into the system now than before-the system is in deep trouble.
cva15: "Hrumpf! Hey you kids, get off my yard. Damned kids today and their hip hop music and their dungarees! Why, when I was a kid the streets were paved with gold and it rained diamonds! People today are ruining this once great country! I'll ignore the fact that the democrats controlled both houses from 1955 - 1980, and then again from '87-'95. "
I was at the gym the other day and a peer was complaining about the president. I asked him, "What can the president do differently that will make a difference?" He had absolutely no answer. It cracks me up when folks who don't even know who writes and pass the laws (Congress), complain about the President, yet have absolutely NO suggestions on how he/they can do a better job.
If you don't have any answers, then you're unqualified to complain about the job someone else is doing. If you can't point out what they're doing wrong, how can you say they're doing anything wrong?
By inflating our currency into worthlessness. THAT'S what worries me.
This is why you need to be in stocks for the long haul. Stocks build inflation into their prices. As stocks are valued based on corporate earnings, and corporations price their goods based on the value of a currency, earnings raise along with inflation.
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