Current U.S. workers seem to think they will enjoy roughly the same lifestyle as current retirees.
The Employee Benefit Research Institute, Washington, has published data supporting that conclusion in a summary of results from the 2007 Retirement Confidence Survey. The survey results are based on telephone interviews of 1,001 workers ages 25 and older, and 251 retirees.
Only 31% of the workers said they expect Social Security to continue to provide benefits of at least equal value to benefits received by retirees today, and only 36% of workers said they expect Medicare benefits to hold their value.
Only 29% of all workers, and only 49% of workers ages 55 and older, said they have $100,000 or more in retirement savings and investments.
But 58% of workers said they expect to be well-off or comfortable during the first 5 years of retirement.
Meanwhile, about 58% of the retirees interviewed said they were comfortable or well-off during the first 5 years of retirement.
The percentage of workers who said they are somewhat or very confident about their ability to handle basic expenses, medical expenses and long term care expenses in retirement is about the same as it was 10 years ago.
Daniel Houston, executive vice president at Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, one of the companies that funded the survey, says one thing that strikes him about the survey is that the percentage of current workers who expect to receive employer-paid health benefits seems to be substantially higher than the percentage of workers at employers that offer retiree health benefits.