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A False Sense of Retirement Confidence

American workers confidence in their ability to retire comfortably is recovering from the record lows of the past few years, and is showing an increase for 2014, according to a new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

As a headline, that’s good news. The problem is that rather than being based on changed habits or better planning, retirement confidence has simply followed the stock market and property values higher. Even though workers are more confident, most don’t have any idea how much they will actually need to retire. And more troubling: a recent TIAA-CREF survey found that Americans spend more time choosing restaurants and flat-screen tvs than they spend planning their retirement.

No surprise: retirement confidence is much higher among workers invested in a retirement plan.

Unfortunately, for many that might be a false sense of confidence. Just because someone has an IRA or a 401k doesn’t mean they spend enough time calculating their retirement income needs, much less managing their investments.


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