Most Americans remain optimistic about retirement, poll says

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Despite the pandemic, most Americans remain optimistic about a comfortable retirement, but inflation is the biggest concern for those less prepared.

This is according to a report from the Employee Compensation Research Institute and Greenwald Research’s 32nd annual survey. Retirement Confidence Survey survey of 2,677 workers and pensioners in January.

“Even with concerns about the pandemic and rising prices, overall, American workers and retirees continue to feel positive about their pensions,” said Craig Copeland, director of wealth research at EBRI.

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2022 results remain stable compared to 2021, with more than 7 in 10 workers reporting they are at least “somewhat confident” in their pension savings, including nearly a third feeling “very confident.”

About 8 out of 10 retirees believe they will have enough money to comfortably live out their golden years, according to the survey. But the pandemic extinguished the optimism of a third of workers and a quarter of pensioners.

“Americans who are more likely to think their future looks bleak in the wake of the pandemic are those who were already pessimistic about their future due to lower incomes, debt problems, or declining health,” Copeland said.

The vast majority of retirees still believe their retirement lifestyle and spending is on track.

Lisa Greenwald

CEO of Greenwald Research

Unsurprisingly, inflation and rising costs are the biggest concern for working and retirees, who are less confident about retirement.

When asked openly about the specific reason for the decline in pension confidence, half cited inflation and rising costs of living, according to Lisa Greenwald, CEO of Greenwald Research.

Annual inflation has increased since the survey in January, climbing to 8.5% in March, according to the US Department of Labor, which has affected the cost of everyday expenses such as groceries, gas and housing.

However, a change in pension spending could lessen the urgency of some of the rising costs, according to JP Morgan. 2022 Retirement Guide found. With the exception of medical care, retirees can spend less on other expenses such as food and fuel.

While the Pension Confidence Survey found most retirees were spending as planned, one in three said they spent more than expected, up from one-fourth in 2021, the survey found.

“This may reflect increased usage and a desire to travel and vacation as the pandemic lulls,” Greenwald said. “It could also reflect inflation and an increase in the cost of travel and entertainment for some.

“While it’s hard to see what causes higher spending, the vast majority of retirees still believe their retirement lifestyle and spending is on track,” she added.

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