Findings from the 1996 Retirement Confidence Survey
Worker confidence in their retirement income prospects
dropped sharply over the past year according to the 1996 Retirement
Confidence Survey. While such a drop could have many causes, a distinct
possibility is that the constant drumbeat of attention given to need for
baby boomers to save for their retirement has begun to register with
workers. As a result, they may have evaluated their situation and are
not pleased. If this dose of realism motivates action, then the drop in
confidence is actually good news.
- Only 5 percent of working Americans
think that most people in the United States save enough money to live
comfortably throughout their retirement years.
- In 1996, 19 percent of workers were very confident
that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout
retirement compared with 22 percent in 1995. An additional 43 percent
were somewhat confident in 1996 regarding their retirement income
prospects compared with 52 percent in 1995. Thus total confidence
dropped 12 percentage points over the past year.
- Only 35 percent say they have "a great deal of control" over accumulating enough money for retirement.
- Sixty-one percent of workers expect money they save
through a retirement plan at work to be the most important or a major
source of retirement income for them. Fifty-six percent expect other
personal savings and investments to be the most important or a major
source of retirement income.
- Twenty-three percent of workers expect Social Security
not to be a source of retirement income for them and an additional 50
percent expect it to be only a minor source.
- Two-thirds of workers have money set for retirement that they saved on their own on a regular basis. One-third do not.
- Only one-third of workers have tried to determine how
much money they need to have saved by the time they retire to live
comfortably. Forty-two percent of those who have tried can not give a
figure when asked how much they figured the amount to be.
- While only 26 percent of workers are very confident in
their ability to develop a good financial plan, 45 percent are very
confident in their ability to stick to a regular financial plan.
- Twelve percent of workers say that they are saving a
lot of money for retirement; an additional 39 percent say they regularly
save money for retirement; and another 11 percent say that every now
and then they save money for retirement.
- Forty-six percent of workers plan on retiring before age 65.
- Two-thirds of workers expect to work on a
part-time basis in retirement. Nineteen percent say if will be out of
financial necessity and 20 percent say it will be to supplement other