Majority of Americans worried about retirement - plan to work longer

retireThis week is National Retirement Week, which is a good thing since it is a topic weighing heavily on our minds. According to a recent survey by MoneyRates and GetRichSlowly, 52% of respondents didn't feel on track with their retirement. It's no wonder so many people are concerned about their retirement savings, since the Sun Financial Unretirement Index found that nearly two-thirds of Americans will delay retirement one year -- with 27% of those individuals delaying retirement by 5 years!

The most popular reason given for entering "unretirement" was to "to earn enough money to live well," a change from last year's top reason of, "staying mentally engaged," which is in second place this year. These changes are explained in part by the general pessimism of American workers, such as findings that:
  • 58% of workers under 60 don't believe Social Security will be available to them upon retirement.
  • 42% aren't confident about Social Security Benefits.
  • 41% don't feel confident about prescription drug benefits.
  • 38% are not confident in Medicare benefits.
The report also included several other findings about how Americans have responded to the past year of turmoil. The index found that 70% of Americans are reducing their spending and 64% are working on paying down debt, significant increases over last year.

Here's the breakdown of where Americans have reduced their spending.
  • 80% are spending less on entertainment
  • 78% are eating out less
  • 60% are cutting back on holiday shopping
  • 58% are putting off a large purchase, like a car or home improvement
  • 39% delayed a routine or elective medical procedure
Making retirement savings a focus of your financial life has never been so important to do, especially with many employers cutting back on matching contributions. J.D. Roth, founder of GetRichSlowly.org, explains the urgency behind this week; "Saving for retirement requires a leap of faith. You're sacrificing something today for more tomorrow, but making this choice is one of the most important things you can do to guarantee your future financial security."

With that in mind, in celebration of National Retirement Week, Get Rich Slowly is running a 13-part series dedicated to addressing the common questions people have about saving for retirement. Examples include common questions such as; saving for retirement or paying off debt, buying a house or building a nest egg and a saving for retirement podcast.

For more information on retirement, including how to plan for living longer, be sure to check out WalletPop's retirement resources.

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