The lagging stock market and consistently poor saving habits have done little to dampen Americans’ retirement confidence, the latest figures from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) show.

EBRI’s annual Retirement Confidence Survey, released last week, indicates workers’ overall confidence in their ability to retire comfortably has decreased only slightly from last year, with 67% feeling "very" or "somewhat" confident. This appears to be blind optimism, though, as the survey also shows some 61% have not calculated how much they need to save to retire. Many who say they have done a calculation simply guessed at how much they should save. In addition, 36% report they did a calculation, but don’t remember how much they need to save, and 66% made their calculation more than a year ago.

Furthermore, EBRI finds stock market declines have had little impact on retirement confidence, as the close of the Dow Jones stock index does not correlate to changes in confidence levels. In fact, at the market’s peak in 1999, confidence levels were at their lowest point in recent years.

"Our survey data over the past decade continues to show that Americans are chronically optimistic about their retirement prospects, despite a variety of market conditions," said EBRI President and CEO Dallas Salisbury.

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