Americans' Confidence does not Match Retirement Preparedness

April 25, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A recent survey from RolloverSystems shows Americans report confidence in their retirement savings though they express uncertainty about having enough money to retire comfortably.

According to a news release on the survey, nearly half of respondents (46%) said they do not participate in their company’s retirement savings plan, with some saying they feel they “save enough” on their own. Yet only 18% said they will definitely have enough money saved to live comfortably in retirement.

Industry watchers suggest that escalating real estate values are to blame for this overconfidence, according to the release (See Americans View Homes as Good Source of Retirement Income ).

The results do suggest that individuals do want to take charge of their retirement savings. Nearly 60% of respondents rolled their money over from a former employer’s retirement plan, and they cited control as the top reason.

Additionally, those surveyed feel they are actively engaged in reviewing and rebalancing investments in their current retirement plans to reflect their goals. Sixty percent say they do this at least several times per year, compared to 5% who say they never do.

For advice, more than half of respondents (54%) would turn to a financial advisor rather than to friends and family.

“There’s either a knowledge gap or a severe shortfall putting knowledge into action,” said RolloverSystems CEO, Reginald Bowser, in the release. “Most people think they know the best way to save, yet clearly they aren’t prepared for retirement.”

Other key survey findings include:

  • 46% of respondents said they’d be more likely to join their company’s retirement savings plan if it had better investment options.
  • Only 12% of consumers say they would be more likely to join a company’s retirement savings plan if they had more or better information.
  • The majority of consumers (43%) say they roll over their retirement plan to an IRA because they want control of their funds.
  • Of those who haven’t rolled over accounts, nearly half (46%) said they didn’t because they were happy with the returns of their 401(k) investments.

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