Each year, Ameriprise Financial's New Retirement Mindscape 2012 City Pulse index surveys more than 10,000 consumers in the 30 largest U.S. metros to gauge just how consumers are feeling about their shot at retirement.
Judging from this year's results, it's clear a still-recovering economy has not only hindered Americans' ability to plan for the future, but has done a number on their confidence in retiring at all.
"Consumers are feeling much less prepared than they have in the prior three years [that we've conducted the study], down from 75 percent to 70 percent this year," Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies, told Business Insider. "When you look at our sample size, that's a statistically significant change."
For the most part, it comes down to basic dollars and cents. More Americans are struggling to save for retirement and fewer have decided exactly how much they'll need to survive their golden years.
"It's not just enough to be thinking about retirement," de Baca said. "Short-term economic swings can have a big impact on confidence. You really need to take some positive steps [towards retirement planning], regardless of the environment."
From the list of 30 metros, we've highlighted the seven lowest ranking.
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