Data and Research

Retirement Confidence Recovering from Great Recession

Still many express common fears about retirement.

By John Manganaro editors@assetinternational.com | December 14, 2016
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With research support from Nielsen and the Harris Poll, the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has published the 17th edition of its annual retirement survey—offering an in-depth look at the U.S. retirement savings industry via more than 300 pages of data and graphics. 

The research presents more than 50 measures of retirement preparedness, as well as higher-level five-year trend analyses looking at overall survey findings among workers of for-profit companies of 10 or more employees. The report also examines the influences of demographic shift on retirement preparations among the private U.S. workforce.

At a high level, researchers find once again that many American workers say they are still recovering from what is commonly referred to as the Great Recession. Markets may be pushing record highs once again, but this has not offered much help for those who have faced extended periods of unemployment, those who liquidated savings/investments to pay for daily life, those who lost houses in foreclosure, etc. 

Indeed, the data shows 41% of people say they have “somewhat” recovered, with 13% percent saying that they have not yet begun to recover and 7% saying that they may never recover from the last recession. However, 39% of workers say that they have either fully recovered (20%) or were not directly impacted by Great Recession (19%).

Against this backdrop, the research shows most workers are at least nominally focused on saving for retirement—and they have varying degrees of confidence they will be able to retire comfortably.

“Retirement confidence has recovered but plateaued,” researchers suggest, noting that 62% of workers are confident that they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle, including 15% who are “very confident” and 47% who are “somewhat confident.” In addition, Transamerica finds just about half of workers (51%) agree that they are building a large enough retirement nest egg.

NEXT: Many factors play into retirement readiness 

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