NU Online News Service, May 11, 2004, 12:59 p.m. EDT – Many U.S. workers have what appear to be completely unrealistic expectations about retirement.[@@]
Merrill Lynch & Company Inc., New York, cast a harsh light on workers’ retirement beliefs earlier this year, when it hired outside researchers to survey 1,100 U.S. residents between the ages of 25 and 69.
About half of the survey participants told researchers that they believe they are saving enough to live on in retirement, but Merrill researchers note that the average age of survey participants was 46 and that the participants had saved an average of only $51,000.
The participants also reported wildly optimistic beliefs about what will happen to their retirement assets after they retire.
Most financial planning experts say that an average annual return of 12% is a great return, and most recommend that retirees limit themselves to withdrawing less than 6% of their retirement assets each year.