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Americans Want Help Protecting Retirement: Survey

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Americans’ confidence in their ability to retire comfortably has fallen sharply over the past year, a survey by a nonprofit research outfit affiliated Transamerica Life Insurance Company finds.

The survey yielded insights into Americans’ top concerns for the next administration in Washington to address in helping them reach a financially secure retirement.

According to the survey report, 45% of adult Americans are less confident that they can achieve a financially secure retirement than they were 12 months ago. Only 14% said they were more confident.

The top financial priority for 57%: “just getting by” or “paying off debt,” in sharp contrast to only 12% who cited “saving for retirement,” the research center researchers report.

The research center was formed by Transamerica, a unit of AEGON N.V., The Hague, Netherlands.

Among survey respondents who identified themselves as full-time workers, only 54% claimed to be confident in achieving a comfortable retirement, down from 59% found in the previous retirement survey, which the company conducted nearly a year ago. Only 18% of full-timers cite saving for retirement as their greatest financial priority right now, down from 27% in the previous retirement survey.

When asked what top 3 priorities the new President and Congress should focus on to improve their prospects for a secure retirement, 57% cited fully funding Social Security; 34% cited implementing financial literacy education in schools; and 28% cited encouraging 401(k) plans to offer to pay benefits in a form that guarantees retirees a set level of monthly income for life.

Other priorities named by survey participants included: providing tax credits to workers who contribute to an IRA or a 401(k) plan (26%); providing incentives for buying long term care insurance (24%); and ensuring that all workers have the ability to contribute to a 401(k) plan or a similar type of plan (21%).


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