According to a recently released report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), worries regarding oneâs job security and mountains of debt are leaving many American more doubtful than ever when it comes to their retirement.
The recent EBRI survey (approximately 1,270 workers and retirees ages 25 and up) shows that a mere 14 percent of workers claim to be âvery confidentâ they will have enough money to live a comfortable life during their retirement years. Meantime, 38 percent of workers claim to be âsomewhat confidentâ and 23 percent report they are ânot at all confident.â
According to many of the survey respondents, current priorities trump retirement plans at this point and time.
Job Security a Major Concern
The survey shows that approximately 42 percent of respondents claim a lack of job security is the number one issue they are facing, with only 28 percent of workers claiming to feel very confident they will be gainfully employed for as long as necessary. Lastly, 62 percent of workers report that their debt is their biggest challenge now.
Money put away for retirement is a big obstacle right now for many American workers, as approximately 60 percent of those surveyed report having total savings and investments of less than $25,000 (excluding the value for their residence and defined benefit plans). Even scarier, nearly 30 percent of these respondents claim to have less than $1,000 in their savings.
According to an EBRI spokesperson, âA lot of the people who have either lost their jobs or are worried about losing their jobs are trying to put a little money away for a rainy day and just don’t have money to put into savings right now.”
High Health Care Costs Prove a Burden
One of the major factors right now eating away at available money to put into savings are high health care costs. According to the survey, only 13 percent of respondents state they are very confident they will be able to meet medical expenses when their working days are over. Meantime, just 26 percent of workers claim to be very confident that they will even have the necessary funds to cover basic expenses.
As the American population ages, the irony of the health care issue is that advances in that very area leads to longer life expectancy for millions and millions of people. Living longer lives also means needing to put away more money in order to meet those needs.
With retirement funds scarce for many American workers, more and more are delaying retirement in order to keep a regular paycheck coming in, while increasing their Social Security benefits by waiting to ages 67 and 70 to start taking benefits.
On the down side of that idea, approximately half of current retirees report they exited the workforce unexpectedly due to health matters, a disability, or an employer that let workers go or even ceased operations.
So before gloom and doom set in from reading these numbers, the report does point out that more employers are automatically enrolling workers in retirement plans such as 401 (k)s, with many of those companies increasing contribution levels on a yearly basis.
EBRIâs spokesman pointed out that “We continue to find that employees lucky enough to be working for an employer that sponsors retirement plans — and who choose to take advantage of it — are not only much more likely to have a significantly higher amount of retirement savings, but also much higher confidence.”
As an American worker, what do you view your retirement to be like?
Are you confident today that you will have enough money for tomorrow or should you be doing A, B, and C to right your financial ship moving forward?
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Dave Thomas, who covers among other topics workers compensation and credit card processing, writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.