Retirement & Financial Planning Report

Retirees overall are more confident in their post-retirement finances than are active workers, with confidence among the still employed having fallen in 2017 from 2016 levels after something of a spike upward last year, according to the Employee Benefits Research Institute.

The group’s retirement confidence measure–one of several similar such tallies–found that 60 percent of workers feel very or somewhat confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement, with just 18 percentage points of those feeling very confident. In contrast, 79 percent of retirees feel very or somewhat confident, including 32 percent who feel very confident.


“In addition to lacking confidence, 3 in 10 workers report that preparing for retirement causes them to feel mentally or emotionally stressed. These stressed workers feel less financially secure and are far less confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement than those who do not feel stressed,” a report said.

Confidence among workers had reached 64 percent in 2016 but now is about back to the 2015 level when it was 59 percent, with a three-point drop in those who feel very confident, while the percentage of those somewhat confident was flat.

“Retirement confidence continues to be strongly related to retirement plan participation, whether in a defined contribution (DC) plan, defined benefit (DB) plan, or individual retirement account (IRA). Workers reporting they or their spouse have money in a DC plan or IRA or have benefits in a DB plan from a current or previous employer are more than twice as likely as those without any of these plans to be at least somewhat confident (71 percent with a plan vs. 33 percent without a plan),” it said.

Among both active employees and retirees, being able to pay medical expenses is a top concern, while retirees were least confident about their ability to pay long-term care expenses.