Class Assignment and Discussion: Retirement Confidence – A Thing of the Past

According to a 2011 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, worker’s confidence that they will have enough money to “live comfortably throughout their retirement years” continues to decline – in fact, only 13% of those polled were “very confident” that they would have enough money.

What does all this mean?  It means that Principles 1 and 2, The Best Protection is Knowledge and Nothing Happens Without a Plan are the keys to living the good life in retirement.  It also means that if you want to avoid this problem during retirement, you’ve got to start planning now.  As we saw in Chapter 16 of Personal Finance Turning Money Into Wealth, It means that retirement planning isn’t just about saving and investing for retirement, it’s also about managing your savings in such a way that you will have enough income to last through retirement, regardless of how long you live.  In fact, according to a recent Bankrate.com poll, anxiety runs high among retirees that they will run out of money in their retirement years.  In fact, about four out of ten (37 percent) of retirees worry about outliving their money, with women fretting more – 44 percent were worried as opposed to 28 percent of men.  Let’s face it, there was a time when Americans didn’t need to worry about retirement planning – retirement meant taking a pension from your employer and letting Social Security pick up any slack.  But pensions are largely a thing of the past, and early retirement and longer lives have placed an enormous burden on Social Security.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Read though the Bankrate.com article “Americans Plan to Work Through Retirement” and the “Fact Sheet on Retirement Confidence” by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.  Look at the results presented in the graphs in the Bankrate.com article titled “Do you worry about money and wish you saved more, or did you save enough?” and “How worried are you that you might outlive your money?” Are you surprised by the results?  Do you think more or fewer American’s should be concerned?  Be prepared to discuss this in class.
  2. Read though the Bankrate.com article “Americans Plan to Work Through Retirement” and the “Fact Sheet on Retirement Confidence” by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.  Look at the results presented in the graph in the Bankrate.com article titled “How has the financial crisis affected your retirement plans? Do you expect to retire?” Are you surprised by the results? Be prepared to discuss this in class.
  3. Looking at the “Fact Sheet on Retirement Confidence” by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, what do you see in the way of trends dealing with the financial aspects of retirement?

 

 

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