LINDA WERTHEIMER, host:
American workers have become more pessimistic about their financial well-being in retirement.
In a new survey, 27 percent of American workers said they were not at all confident they could afford to retire comfortably; thats up from last year.
NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports.
WENDY KAUFMAN: Jack VanDerhei, co-authored the Employee Benefit Research Institutes report on worker confidence. Its a report the non-profit, non-partisan group has been dong for 21 years.
Professor JACK VANDERHEI (Research director, Employee Benefit Research Institute): And this year was, without a doubt, the worst year ever in terms of worker confidence.
KAUFMAN: The percentage of workers who said they were not confident they could retire comfortably has grown five percent in the past year. The biggest increase was among those who actually are the least prepared for retirement. VanDerhei suspects that with all the economic and housing news in the past year or so, the individuals finally took a hard look at what they had and what they would need.
Prof. VANDERHEI: In previous years we've had a lot of problems with what we call false optimism, and I think realism is starting to finally set in.
KAUFMAN: So have they started to save more?
Prof. VANDERHEI: The answer, unfortunately, is not yet.
KAUFMAN: But VanDerhei hopes their more realistic assessment will prompt them to set aside more money. While individual retirement needs will vary widely, 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 plan to have about $500,000 for retirement.
Wendy Kaufman, NPR News.
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