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18th Annual Retirement Confidence Survey:(R) Workers Show Record Drop in Retirement Confidence, Health Care and Economy Are Major Concerns
Date:4/9/2008

reflected in several attitudes they hold about their retirement finances. Retirees are less likely than in 2007 to believe they can always cut back on their lifestyle if it looks like they might use up all of their savings (61 percent, down from 70 percent). At the same time, 39 percent of retirees now think they are likely to live long enough to use up all of their savings (up 10 percentage points from 29 percent in 2007).

-- Retiree health coverage: Barely one-third of all workers now expect to have access to employment-based health insurance in retirement, down 8 percentage points (from 42 percent in 2007 to 34 percent in 2008). Although 41 percent of retirees say they currently have access to health insurance through a former employer, many employers are eliminating health care coverage for future retirees.

-- Confidence by age and income: The percentage saying they are very confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement decreased from 31 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2008 among workers ages 25-34, and from 28 percent to 16 percent among workers ages 35-44. Similarly, it decreased from 14 percent to 5 percent among workers with household income under $35,000 and from 25 percent to 13 percent among those with income of $35,000-$74,999.

The survey also provides some evidence that concerns about the present may be limiting Americans' ability to think about or plan for their future situation in retirement. When asked what they think is the most pressing financial issue facing most Americans today, just 5 percent of workers and 4 percent of retirees cited saving or planning for retirement. Instead, most mention:

-- Making ends meet or the cost of living (17 percent of workers, 19 percent of retirees).

-- Paying for health insurance or medical expenses (16 percent of workers, 25 percent of retirees).

-- Making mortgage payments or paying for housing (16 percent of workers, 10 percent of retiree
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SOURCE Employee Benefit Research Institute
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