Planning for Retirement: A Look at Worker Confidence


Retirement (Photo credit: 401(K) 2013)

According to a recent Retirement Confidence Survey by the 2013 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.   On top of that, only 28 percent of workers said they are “not at all confident” which is an increase from 2012 when 23 percent said they were “not at all confident.”

Without question, this is not good news – but what does it mean for you? 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, if you take a look at the Retirement Confidence Survey, you see quite a few troubling results.  Retirement is something everyone hopes happens, but without planning, it won’t be pretty.  While 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 – those days are gone.  Today, 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 2013 RCS Fact Sheet #1, Retirement Confidence. 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 2013 RCS Fact Sheet #1, Retirement Confidence, what do you see in the way of trends dealing with the financial aspects of retirement?  Be prepared to discuss this in class.
  3. What do you think things will look like in America 30 years from now if this survey holds true and a large percentage of Americans have not saved for retirement?  Be prepared to discuss this in class.
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