Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Nearly 10 years after the low point of the Great Recession, the downturn is still affecting retirement confidence, with only 44 percent of workers saying they have fully recovered or were not affected in the first place.

In a TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies survey of workers, 37 percent said that they have only somewhat recovered, 12 percent that they have not yet begun to recover and 7 percent that they may never recover.

It further found that retirement confidence did improve following the economic recovery but has plateaued in recent years, with 62 percent at least somewhat confident that they will be able to retire fully with a comfortable lifestyle, including 18 percent who are very confident. Similarly, 54 percent are at least somewhat confident that they will be able to build a large enough retirement nest egg, up from the immediate post-recession years but also about flat in recent years.

The most frequently cited fear about retirement is outliving one’s savings, followed by possible erosion of Social Security, declining health that will require long-term care and health care costs. Those have been consistent year-to-year as well.

Consistent with other studies, the report found large numbers of workers hoping to extend their careers, with a slight majority hoping to work past age 65 and about the same share hoping to work at least part-time after retiring.

“When asked what steps they are taking to help ensure they can continue working past age 65 or in retirement, 62 percent of workers say they are staying healthy so that they can continue working, while 56 percent say that they are focusing on performing well at their current job. Only 46 percent say they are keeping their job skills up to date. Even fewer workers are networking and meeting new people (21 percent), scoping out the employment market (18 percent), or going back to school and learning new skills (13 percent),” it said.