While I talk a lot about how a happy retirement happens in the 6 inches between your ears, I do know that a financial reality check is in order before you retire. Being satisfied with what you have is one thing but making foolish decisions based on cluelessness is another. People are paying closer attention these days it appears and the financial outlook has them worried.
When future retirees were surveyed about their retirement savings by a consulting firm called Mercer, their answers were very telling. The graph below was created as a result of a survey called What's Working. The results of the survey painted a picture of uncertainty for retirement possibilities. Why the uncertainty? I think Arthur Noonan, partner in Mercer put it perfectly:
“We have seen defined benefit plan freezes and terminations in recent years, combined with the worst decade of S&P performance,” he says. “Add to this the large bubble of workers – the boomers – reaching retirement age, increased media attention on retirement issues and talk of possible Social Security cuts. People’s sense of security has been shaken.” Arthur Noonan, a partner in Mercer’s Retirement, Risk & Finance from MercerHere is the information we were invited to use by the Mercer group.
The survey tells us that if you are a woman, you don't think you are doing enough to insure your retirement. Less that 45% of all employees feel that they are saving enough to insure retirement. But if you are a woman, that number drops to less that 39%.
Younger employees are feeling more positive. In the 25-34 age bracket, 50% or more feel they and their current employer are doing a good job with their retirement plan. But in the aging population the confidence levels fall significantly.
Retiring in style is not easy these days but picking the right retirement plan (one that can be moved from one employer to another or one that is not taken from pre-taxed income?) may be the key if you are young. If you are over 50 it becomes more difficult. Living on less NOW may save your retirement from disappearing all together. Remember, even though you are living as though tomorrow will never come, it probably will anyway!
It is just a thought.