BLOOMINGTON, Ill., March 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite a declining unemployment rate, rebounding stock market and other short-term improvements in the economy, Americans continue to grow more pessimistic about long-term retirement prospects, according to a new COUNTRY Financial survey. Less than one-in-three (28 percent) believe it is possible for a middle income family to save for a secure retirement. This number is down two points from this time last year and more than nine points since 2007.
Lingering doubt about middle income retirement might be symptomatic of Americans' overall uncertainty about their retirement savings. Four-in-ten (43 percent) are not confident in their current retirement savings plans. The same number indicate they are decreasing the amount they are putting away for their golden years. Despite these sentiments, 50 percent say recent economic events will not cause them to delay retirement. However, this number is down slightly from this time last year (53 percent).
"It's understandable people are still uneasy about retirement given the length of economic unrest. But, regardless of your income bracket, it's important to continue setting aside money for the future," says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security planning. "Building your retirement nest egg starts with creating a tangible financial plan based on your own unique situation and plans for your golden years. Having a target to save for is an important motivator for any long-term financial goal."
Professional advice instills confidence in retirement
Americans who have sought professional advice about retirement have more confidence in their nest egg. Yet, only 31 percent say they have done so.
- Just 8 percent of those who sought professional advice are unsure how much money they will need in retirement. This number rises to 21 percent for those without professional advice.
- Seventy-four percent of those who received advice are confident in their current retirement savings plan. On the other hand, just 48 percent of those without professional advice say the same.
"The amount of money needed for retirement and what savings plans to use are different for everyone," adds Brannan. "Oftentimes, people have the misconception that you need a lot of money in order to get advice from a professional. However, no matter your income or current financial situation, professional advice can help you map out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future."
How much do you need to retire?
Nearly two out of three (64 percent) Americans think they'll need less than $1 million for retirement. Just 19 percent say they will need $1 million or more. Another 18 percent say they are unsure about how much they'll need. In order to maintain a similar lifestyle, Brannan notes Americans will need approximately 75 percent of their current after tax income in yearly installments.
For more information on Americans' sentiments about financial security, please visit www.countryfinancialsecurityindex.com.
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 margin of sampling error for this survey is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 98 percent level of confidence.
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