Retirement Confidence Rockets to an 8-Year Record

Retirement Confidence Rockets to an 8-Year Record

2007 was a big year.

Apple debuted the first generation iPhone, the final Harry Potter book was published, and it was the last year before Americans’ retirement confidence took a nosedive … until now.

That’s right, according to new data, the average U.S. worker today feels better about their ability to retire comfortably than they have in eight years.

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Specifically, Employee Benefit Research Institute's 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey finds that 22% of participants are "very" confident that they're on the right track—which, to be sure, isn’t quite as high as 2007’s 27% figure.

But it is a generous improvement from the 18% of participants who felt this way in 2014, and 13% with the same outlook in 2013.

Add in the number of workers who also feel "somewhat" confident in their future nest eggs, and the total confidence count jumps to 58%.

But here’s the (somewhat obvious) catch: Despite the newfound optimism, the EBRI found that the boost is primarily contained to those with a traditional pension or tax-advantaged retirement account, such as a 401(k) or IRA.

Side by side, 71% of workers with a retirement plan feel good about their future stability—which is more than double the 33% of workers without a plan who feel the same.

Of course, there’s always room for improvement—even for those with rosy outlooks: 69% of workers say they could sock away about $100 more per month than they are now.

What’s driving the overall confidence hike? For starters, outside economical factors—like the improving job market, higher home values, and positive stock performance—has provided a greater sense of security.

Plus, Americans’ perceived ability to afford pricey line items in the future, like health care and long-term care insurance, has a role to play.

But perhaps most of all, Americans have accepted the fact that they’ll likely need to remain in the workforce longer than generations past in order to live comfortably. In fact, 16% report that they’ve readjusted their expectations when it comes to retiring at a certain age just within the past year.

Curious if you should rejigger your own retirement strategy? Consider these six telltale signs it’s time.

LearnVest Planning Services is a registered investment adviser and subsidiary of LearnVest, Inc., that provides financial plans for its clients. Information shown is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended as investment, legal or tax planning advice. Please consult a financial adviser, attorney or tax specialist for advice specific to your financial situation. Unless specifically identified as such, the individuals interviewed or quoted in this piece are neither clients, employees nor affiliates of LearnVest Planning Services, and the views expressed are their own. LearnVest Planning Services and any third parties listed, linked to or otherwise appearing in this message are separate and unaffiliated and are not responsible for each other’s products, services or policies.

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