Retirement confidence has hit a record low since the Employee Benefit Research Institute began its annual survey in 1993, with only 13% saying they believe they will have enough money for a comfortable retirement, and 25% saying they believe they will have enough money for just basic expenses. Those already in retirement also have downgraded outlooks, with only 20% saying they are very confident.
This compares to 18% of workers in 2008 and 27% in 2007 who said they were confident about their retirement.
The three main reasons respondents gave for their more dismal outlook are: the economy, inflation and cost of living. They also cited job losses, pay cuts, depletion of retirement savings due to the market and increased debt.
The solution, apparently, for many is to work longer, with 28% saying the age at which they expect to retire has changed. Among this group, the overwhelming majority, 89%, have postponed retirement. Nonetheless, the median age at which people expect to retire is still rather low, 65, with only 21% saying they plan to postpone retiring as far into the future as their 70s.
Part-time employment in retirement is also an evident solution, with 72% now saying they still plan to work after retiring.
A great many workers, 81%, have reduced their expenses, 43% have changed the way they invest, 38% are working more hours or at a second job, and 25% have sought out the help of a financial adviser.
On the bright side, 75% said they or their spouse has started saving for retirement, one of the highest figures ever. Still, only 44% have actually tried to calculate how much they will need for retirement, and 49% of people age 55 or older have less than $50,000 in their retirement accounts.