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New year, old worries

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Are boomers getting more optimistic as we move out of 2009? Not really. The Principal Financial Well-Being Index asked retirees if they felt better off financially than they did at the beginning of the year. Less than a quarter said they were more confident now than they were back then, and nearly half said they were cautious about the future. Only 20 percent said they were optimistic about the economy for 2010.

The downturn has some lasting effects. Over three-quarters of retirees surveyed said they will continue to spend less even after the economy turns around, and 53 percent are watching their spending much closer than they were before the recession.

What’s the biggest lesson retirees have taken away from the recession? The majority of respondents said having an emergency fund to rely on in the event of an illness disaster or job loss was the most important financial lesson they learned, followed closely by paying off debts.


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