Retirement & Financial Planning Report

A look at the state of retirement preparedness over five years shows that well publicized trends have continued and that even years later, the economic downturn of 2008-2009 is still resonating in terms of behavior and attitudes.

For example, only 16 percent consider themselves fully recovered financially from the recession, while another 21 percent said they never felt impacted by it, leaving the rest still feeling the effects. Confidence of being able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle has edged up since 2011 from 51 to 59 percent.

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Further, the TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies found that half still don’t have a systematic way of estimating how much they will need to have saved for retirement and that they rely on guesswork or round numbers—the average figure is $1 million—instead.

Other trends that are continuing, it said, is that employees of large organizations have better access to retirement benefits than those of small companies, that defined benefit plans continue to dwindle, now available to only 24 percent of workers, that women are at a greater risk than men of not achieving a financially secure retirement, and that lower income workers are less likely to be saving for retirement.