A new survey finds a record number of Americans have lost confidence in
their ability to afford retirement.
The 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, released today by the nonpartisan
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) in Washington, and
co-sponsored by the Principal Financial Group®, found more
than a quarter of workers (27 percent)?the most ever in the two decades
of the survey? now say they are ?not at all confident? about having
enough money to live comfortably in retirement.
Reinforcing that trend, the percentage of workers saying they are ?very
confident? ties with 2009 at 13 percent?the lowest rate ever measured by
The survey finds that many systemic conditions are forcing Americans to
redefine retirement, such as high unemployment rates; government fiscal
crises; rising health care costs; lower investment returns; a surging
older population putting pressure on Social Security and Medicare; and
longer life expectancies.
?Americans are beginning to recognize the level of savings needed for a
comfortable retirement. Now it's critically important to take steps to
improve the chances they'll have enough,? said Greg Burrows, senior vice
president, retirement & investor services at The Principal®.
?Research shows even simple actions, like calculating how much is needed
for retirement, increases savings. Creating a plan and working with a
financial advisor can also help get savers on realistic paths to a
The Principal is a long-time underwriter of the annual Retirement
Confidence Survey, now in its 21st year. Among other key
findings in the 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey, available on the EBRI
website at www.ebri.org:
Roughly a third of both workers and retirees said they had to dip into
their savings last year to pay for basic expenses. Significantly,
those with retirement savings?such as a 401(k) or an individual
retirement account (IRA)?were far less likely than those without these
accounts to tap into their savings.
Many people do not plan or save for retirement. Well over a third (42
percent) say they determined their retirement savings need by
guessing. Seventy percent say they are a little or a lot behind
schedule in planning and saving for retirement.
More than half of workers say they have less than $25,000 in total
savings and investments, excluding their homes.
A significant number of workers (20 percent) say they now intend to
retire later (at an older age) than they had planned. But almost half
of current retirees (45 percent) say they retired earlier than they
planned, mainly because of a health problem or disability.
The annual Retirement Confidence Survey is conducted by the nonpartisan
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Mathew Greenwald and
Associates. Now in its 21st year, it is the longest-running
survey of its kind on attitudes toward retirement in America. The
Principal Financial Group is among the more than two dozen organizations
that provided funding for the survey. Full results are on the EBRI Web
site at www.ebri.org
More information on savings tools and resources are online at www.americarebuilds.com
For more news and insights from The Principal, connect with us on
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About the Principal Financial Group
The Principal Financial Group® (The Principal®)1
is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional
clients a wide range of financial products and services, including
retirement and investment services, life and health insurance, and
banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A
member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $318.8
billion in assets under management2 and serves some 19.1
million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe,
Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is
traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For
more information, visit www.principal.com.
1 "The Principal Financial Group" and "The Principal" are
registered service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a member
of the Principal Financial Group.
2 As of Dec. 31, 2010.
Principal Financial Group
Terri Hale, 515-283-8858
Tracey Young, 202-775-6329