SURVEY SAYS – Are You (Re)Building Your Retirement Confidence?

April 16, 2009 ( - There have been LOTS of surveys/reports on retirement confidence this week - and yes, they all pretty much indicate that there's less confidence in retirement financial security than there was a year ago.

So, as a bonus question this week, I asked readers if YOU were dong anything to build (back) up your personal retirement confidence – and if so, what?

Well, 22.6% said they weren’t – because they were “pretty confident already.”   Another 26.4% hadn’t done anything – but acknowledged that they were “certainly less confident.”   Yet another 7.5% simply said they hadn’t, while 8.5% said they hadn’t – “yet.”

That leaves roughly 35% who said they were doing something.

As for what they were doing, nearly half - 45.9% - said they were trying to save more.   Just over a third ( 33.8% ) were planning to work longer, 23% were reallocating their portfolio, 4.1% were figuring out how much they would need for retirement, and 21.6% were - well, "trying not to think about it."  

Yes, more than one answer was allowed.

There were a number of readers who took advantage of the opportunity to expand on their responses - some of my favorites :

  "I'm not doing anything right now that I wasn't doing before. My retirement is a long term investment and I still have a while before I need it. It's a good time to keep investing in it - the ups and downs help with the dollar cost averaging and I'm confident the market will be back up by the time I retire. As I get closer to retirement, I'll be moving my investments into more stable options."

"I met with a financial adviser last year who helped me see that it's not as dark as it seems and there is light at the end of the tunnel."

I borrowed half of my retirement account just before I left my last job in 2007 and went on what I called "temporary-early retirement". What a great coincidence that it was out of investment. My repayments are buying cheaper stock. Double taxation on repayments? I'm a tax protester.

"I'm keeping more in cash."

"I reallocated all of my money to guaranteed investment funds before the market crashed."

"I have some questions on this question. I am not confident that I will be able to retire - EVER. I am saving the maximum allowed by tax law. I am watching it go away in investment returns, or lack there of. I working diligently to pay off my mortgage but I am at a loss to figure out a way to build my confidence. Not thinking about it is just that - not thinking about it but it doesn't change anything. Working longer is - Not retiring. Saving more, well I have already addressed that! Reallocating portfolio - to whom should one listen on THAT subject? Figuring out how much I will need - definitely not helping to build confidence. I guess the best thing to do is return to item one - trying not to think about it, or the old head in the sand approach!"

"With the amount of stress I'm probably putting on my heart, I may be dead before I can retire. But since I am worth more dead, then at least the family will be taken care of!"

"I've made three novenas and lit some candles...that should help!"

But this week's Bonus question Editor's Choice goes to the reader who said "I'm allocating new contributions to fixed! I can't help it! It's like an accident on the side of the road: you know you shouldn't look, but you're strangely drawn...."

Thanks to everyone who participated in our bonus survey question!