NU Online News Service, Nov. 9, 2004, 5:05 p.m. EST

Retirees seem to be a lot more confident about federal retirement programs than working Americans are.[@@]

The Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill., has published figures supporting that conclusion in a summary of results of a survey conducted by an outside polling firm.

Researchers called 1,604 U.S. residents born between 1946 and 1978 and annual household incomes of at least $35,000. They also called a separate sample of retirees with annual household incomes of at least $20,000.

The researchers found that only 35% of the retirees and only 16% of the workers said they were “very prepared” financially to stop working.

Only 8% of the retirees said they have had to take a job for the health insurance benefits, and only 28% of the retirees said they’ve had to work after retiring to make ends meet.

About 44% of working Americans expect to have to work after retirement to make ends meet, and 45% believe they’ll need to look for a job to help pay for health insurance benefits.

But the retirees might be feeling more relaxed partly because they have more faith in the future of the Social Security and Medicare programs.

Only 28% of the workers expect the federal government to keep Social Security going long enough to meet their needs, and only 32% expect the federal government to save Medicare.

Meanwhile, 45% of the retirees expect Social Security to survive long enough to meet their needs and 46% expect Medicare to continue to meet their needs.