A new survey shows American workers increasingly pessimistic that they will be able to retire comfortably.
The nonprofit, nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute's 21st annual report on worker confidence finds 27 percent of American workers are "not at all confident" that they have been saving enough.
That's a 5 percent increase in worried workers in the past year.
"This year was without a doubt the worst year ever in terms of worker confidence," says Jack VanDerhei, the coauthor of the report.
VanDerhei says the biggest increase in concern was among those workers who are the least prepared. He suspects that all the bad economic and housing news made those individuals finally take a hard look at what they have stashed away and what they will need.
"In past years, we have had a lot of problems with what we call false optimism," he says, "and I think realism is finally starting to set in."
Even so, he says those people are not saving more. He hopes their more realistic assessment will prompt them to get started.
Individual retirement needs will vary, but one rule of thumb says you should have a nest egg of about 10 times the amount of your annual earnings. So, if you bring in $50,000 a year, you should have about $500,000 for retirement.