Retirement Confidence Gets Rosier ... For Some Americans

Retirement Confidence Gets Rosier ... For Some Americans

It's cause for celebration: Americans' retirement confidence is back on the rise for the first time since the 2009 financial crash.

In its latest annual retirement survey, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 55% of workers are at least "somewhat," if not "very," confident that their nest eggs are large enough to last.

But here's the rub: Those sentiments come almost entirely from higher-income families making at least $75,000 a year. And the report suggests that much of the improvement comes from a climbing stock market and rising property values across the country—which are factors more likely to benefit those in the upper brackets.

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The study also found that retirement confidence is stronger, perhaps not surprisingly, among Americans who are currently contributing to a 401(k) or IRA. In fact, those with a retirement account were more than twice as likely to be upbeat about their golden years than those who hadn't officially started saving.

When the survey focused on those not yet participating in a retirement plan, confidence quickly fell: Almost half of those with no IRA or 401(k) said they are "not at all confident" that they will be financially set for retirement. Even more disturbing: 36% of all workers—regardless of income—fessed up to having less than $1,000 saved for their future.

What's stopping so many of us from socking more away? Most of the survey respondents cited daily expenses and cost of living as the No. 1 impediment to saving. Another obstacle: 58% of workers admitted to "having a problem with debt."

While those are indeed significant obstacles to saving, it doesn't mean planning for retirement is impossible. Learn how you can start socking away while still tackling your loans—and discover how one woman managed to max out her retirement savings while making just $28,000 a year.

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