Today, many Americans are stressed about retiring. Most of them are not taking the proper steps to prepare financially. According to recent research by the Employee Benefits Research Institute, most Americans who report feeling stressed about retiring also report feeling financially insecure. In their study, the researchers found that 30 percent of participants felt stressed either emotionally or mentally in relation to retirement preparation. Another 30 percent said that they were worried about finances during their workday. About 50 percent of the workers who reported feeling stressed said that they would likely be more productive at work if they did not spend so much time worrying.
About 50 percent of all survey participants said that health care or financial planning programs would benefit their productivity levels. However, most workers did not report taking steps to seek such services. About 60 percent of all survey participants said that they had done some planning and saving for retirement. Only 40 percent reported trying to calculate an accurate amount of money needed during retirement. Some participants also spent time calculating how much money they would need from Social Security in the future to survive. About 35 percent of workers had calculated their estimated living expenses during retirement.
When asked about seeking help from a financial adviser, only about 20 percent of participants said that they had spoken with a professional regarding retirement planning. Approximately 10 percent reported already having a formal plan that was feasible and realistic. Researchers pointed out the importance of working with a financial planner. Also, they emphasized that people can do many things on their own for free such as calculating Social Security income. Also, people can review their expenses on their own and speak with a financial planner about estimating realistic future costs.
After interviewing both workers and retirees, EBRI researchers said that retirees were more likely to report feeling confident about their savings and income. Over 80 percent of those who were already retired reported feeling comfortable. About 60 percent of those who felt confident said that they were very sure of having future income that they would not outlive. In contrast, less than 20 percent of workers who were surveyed felt confident about having enough money to live on during retirement. Savings incentives such as contribution matching were noted as important considerations by the researchers. They recommended that employers offer education about retirement saving, provide attractive plans and encourage participation in multiple ways.
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