Investors are more focused on immediate financial needs than they are on preparing for retirement, according to the fifth annual Mercer Workplace Survey, this year conducted among 2,000 participants in 401(k) and health savings accounts.

Citing larger debt balances and falling home prices, respondents said that they are more concerned with keeping up with monthly expenses than saving for retirement. Twenty-one percent said their biggest financial worry is keeping up with monthly expenses, and 15% said it’s saving for retirement. In 2004, it was the reverse, with 24% most concerned about retirement savings and 15% monthly expenses.

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