clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Are Americans feeling too good about their retirement finances?

Are Americans putting enough money into their retirement accounts?

Forbes' Richard Eisenberg and others think many older workers are making a "dicey" gamble as they prepare for the future.

"It’s appropriate that the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s (EBRI) 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey was just released during the American Society on Aging’s annual Aging in America conference I’m attending in Washington, D.C.," he wrote. "Unfortunately, from my reading of the survey, workers are far more confident about their prospects for aging into retirement than they have a right to be."

According to the report, 21 percent of workers are “very confident” they've funded a comfortable retirement, a number that's up from 13 percent in 2013. Another 42 percent are “somewhat confident.” That's nearly two-thirds of those surveyed feel pretty good about what retirement holds for them.

Eisenberg said Jack VanDerhei, EBRI’s research director and co-author of the study, told him that a slew of workers haven't been socking adequate funds away. Those folks, he said, are "making a particularly risky gamble.”

According to the survey, 42 percent of workers have not yet saved $10,000.

The survey also said that nearly 7 in 10 workers "report they or their spouses have saved for retirement. … Still, a sizable percentage of workers report they have virtually no savings and investments."

According to Eisenberg, "VanDerhei was particularly concerned that so many workers believe working part time in retirement will be their financial salvation. 'Given that every year we find that 50 percent of retirees had to retire earlier than they wanted, usually because of their health or their spouse’s health, I view that as a particularly risky gamble,'" he said.

Last May, a U.S. News & World Report financial blog outlined 10 ways Americans expect to fund retirement, starting with the most popular, Social Security. Close to 80 percent have socked some money into a retirement account or plan to, it said, while more than one-third will rely on some kind of pension, although the article noted that's becoming an increasingly rare offering. Among other options and plans are inheritance, rental properties, stocks and working part time.

Email:, Twitter: Loisco