Golden Years Looking More Golden for Middle-Income Americans COUNTRY Financial Survey: Americans coming to grips with new realities of retirement

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., March 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- More Americans are optimistic about their retirement nest eggs. According to a new COUNTRY Financial survey, 35 percent of Americans now think it is possible for a typical middle-income family to save for a secure retirement. This is up six points from this time last year and the first increase in five years.

This increase may be because many Americans did not have to postpone their retirement as a result of the economic downturn. People are also taking positive steps to finance their golden years.

  • Nearly four-in-ten (36 percent) will not have to delay their retirement as a result of the economic downturn.
  • Fifty-seven percent either maintained or increased the amount they contribute to their nest egg, a three-point increase from last year.

However, others are confronting new realities of retirement caused by years of economic instability. A quarter of Americans must delay their retirement by three years or more. This instability might also be why a majority (55 percent) expect to take a part-time job during retirement to augment their savings.

"It's encouraging many are taking a proactive approach to retirement's new realities," says Keith Brannan, vice president of financial security planning. "By regularly updating a long-term savings plan and sticking to it, almost everyone can adapt to economic changes and achieve a secure retirement."

To find out which age groups are most expecting to work part-time in retirement, watch this video interview with Brannan for additional survey highlights at www.countryfinancialsecurityindex.com.

Social Security uncertainty weighs on Americans

The ongoing debate about the future of Social Security might be impacting how Americans factor it into their overall nest egg.

  • Just one-third are confident Social Security will pay them all of their promised benefits.
    • Those in the Gen X age group are the least confident. Just 14 percent of those ages 30 to 39 and 26 percent of those 40 to 49 believe they will receive their promised benefits.
  • Forty-one percent of those with a financial planner say less than one-quarter of their retirement income will come from Social Security. Only 25 percent of those without a planner say the same.

"While we cannot predict what lawmakers will decide about Social Security, we can control how we plan for our own financial security," adds Brannan. "When planning long-term, in addition to protecting your assets, focus first on the contributions you control. For retirement, that means your personal savings and 401(k) contributions."

The COUNTRY survey on retirement is based on a national telephone survey of 3,000 Americans and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (www.rasmussenreports.com), an independent research firm. The questions on delaying retirement and increasing retirement savings were polled of 2,368 Americans who have not yet retired.

About COUNTRY

COUNTRY Financial (http://www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.

SOURCE COUNTRY Financial



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