Retirement confidence improves, but actual planning lags

Denial is not just a river in Africa. It also is a powerful driver of how Americans think about their prospects for a secure retirement.

A new survey of retirement confidence published on Tuesday confirms that many workers lack realistic plans for making ends meet in retirement. It also suggests there is a disconnect between Americans’ confidence about retirement and their actual preparations to ensure a comfortable one.

The Retirement Confidence Survey published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) is the longest-running annual survey of retirement confidence among both workers and today’s retirees – this is the 26th annual edition. It provides a long view of how we are doing as a country in preparing for retirement, and this year’s survey does contain some encouraging news.

EBRI found that the percentage of workers who are confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement has continued to recover from the record lows following the Great Recession. Twenty-one percent are very confident this year, compared with 13 percent in 2013. Those who are somewhat confident rose to 42 percent, up from 38 percent in 2013.

So that means 63 percent of those surveyed have some degree of confidence. But here is the problem – many people are just guessing.

Learn more in my column this week at Reuters Money.

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