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Americans' Retirement Dreams Unrealistic: EBRI

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NU Online News Service, April 5, 2004, 4:00 p.m. EST — Twenty-four percent of workers are very confident they will have enough money set aside for a comfortable retirement, and 44% are somewhat confident they’ll have enough, according to a new survey.[@@]

The latest Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefits Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates found, however, that only around 68% have actually set aside some money for retirement, and only 58% are doing so currently.

Of those who have not saved, almost half are confident about having enough money in retirement.

“America appears to be a nation of optimists when it comes to retirement, but for some people the retirement dream may turn into a nightmare,” warns Dallas Salisbury, president of EBRI, in Washington.

The survey found that 45% of all workers report total household assets, excluding the value of their home, of less than $25,000.

But retirement education can lead to significant improvements in consumers’ savings habits, EBRI says. More than 40% of workers who tried to calculate how much they need to save for retirement improved their retirement planning as a result, and almost 30% who received retirement education at worked changed their retirement planning.

Even with all the computer technology and Internet information now available to consumers, most who receive retirement education through their employer say they found personalized, one-on-one and print communication most helpful, EBRI says.


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