Thursday, April 23, 2015

Worker Confidence in Retirement on the Rise

Twenty-two percent of workers are very confident they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement, according to the 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey. This figure is up from a record low of 13 percent following the Great Recession. Another 36 percent of workers are somewhat confident they will have enough.

But will the retirement plans of today's workers pan out? The experiences of today's retirees suggest they may not. Half of retirees in the 2015 survey say they retired earlier than planned, while a smaller 40 percent retired as planned. That's why the median age at which retirees say they retired (62) has not changed over the decades despite the fact that a growing share of workers plan to stay on the job until age 66-plus or never retire—the figure rising from 15 to 46 percent between 1995 and 2015.

Why do retirees leave the work force sooner than expected? Among 2015 retirees who retired earlier than planned, the single biggest reason was a worrisome one—health problems, cited by 60 percent. The second biggest reason (more than one could be cited) was positive: 31 percent were able to afford an earlier retirement. This was followed by downsizing or closure of their company (27 percent), having to care for a family member (22 percent), the desire to do something else (17 percent), and changes in the skills required for their job (10 percent).

With half of retirees leaving the workforce sooner than expected, today's workers need more than a retirement plan. They need a Retirement Plan B.

Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey

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