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Why Are You Confident About Retirement?

Poll QuestionWhen it comes to retirement, confidence is on the rise.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey of 1,000 workers and 501 retirees in the United States found that 18% of workers are confident about having enough money to retire comfortably.

That might not sound like many people are feeling good about their golden years, but confidence is up from 13% in 2013 and ends a record-low streak that began in 2009.

The percentage of workers who described themselves as “somewhat confident” was 37%, while 24% said they weren’t confident at all. That’s down from 28% a year ago.

Retiree confidence has increased, too: 28% reported being very confident about having a financially secure retirement, up from 18% in 2013. But 17% were not at all confident.

Let’s be clear where this sudden boost of certainty has come from: Confidence increased almost exclusively among those with a higher household income.

And you can bet these folks are feeling just fine because of the monster year stocks just put up. The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 26.5% in 2013, shockingly outpaced by the NASDAQ, which jumped 38%.

The survey also found that confidence was related to households with a retirement plan. No surprise there.

Other findings:

  • 64% of workers say they or their spouse have saved for retirement, and the number jumps to 79% for full-time workers.
  • 90% of workers participating in a retirement plan have saved for retirement. Only 1 in 5 five without one have.
  • 17% of retirees say their debt level is higher than it was five years ago.
  • 53% of workers say that cost-of-living and day-to-day expenses interfere with saving for retirement.

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