Sunday, March 13, 2005

Americans Nervous About Retirement …

Will Lester of AP reported on a recent AP-Ipsos poll of 1,000 adults that showed that almost half of Americans who haven't retired say they don't think they're doing a good job of getting ready for that time in their lives. Many say they're not confident they'll have enough money to live comfortably after they quit working.

"People are trapped in a dilemma," said Robert Blendon, a polling expert at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. "They know they're not saving enough."

Among the millions who are uneasy about retirement finances are some who acknowledge they find the situation scary. Maureen Jones, a 46-year-old wife and mother in Detroit, said she can't save money and her situation makes her uneasy.

"Something's got to be done. Social Security doesn't seem to be working," she said. "My husband is concerned for his Social Security, we're both concerned. We haven't got an IRA right now. And the job situation stinks so much there's no way to put anything away."

Some other poll findings:

One in five hope to retire at 55 or younger; nearly half plan to retire in their 60s and 10 percent say they will retire at 71 or older or never retire.

About two-thirds of current workers plan to keep working after they've retired. Some want to make enough money to make ends meet; others want money for extras or just a way to stay busy.

In this uneasy climate, Bush's plan to allow personal accounts within Social Security hasn't caught fire with the public. The plan calls for to letting younger workers put part of their Social Security payroll taxes in private investment accounts.

More than half of Americans, 55 percent, say they oppose his plan to create personal accounts, while 39 percent say they support it. Support for the plan drops among Democrats and independents when it's described specifically as "President Bush's plan."

Two-thirds of those who say they're doing an excellent job of preparing for retirement support Bush's plan to create personal accounts, while those doing a good job are evenly split. Two-thirds of those doing a fair or poor job of preparing for retirement oppose his plan.


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