Retirement continues to be a concern for Americans who worry they won’t be able to maintain a comfortable standard of living after leaving their jobs. A national poll released on Thursday by Americans for Secure Retirement (ASR) revealed 88 percent of 800 registered voters are worried retirement will be a problem for them.
Retirement Moves to Forefront of America’s Issues
The report by ASR found a significant number of people are concerned about their ability to make ends meet once they retire. The percentage of individuals worried about retirement jumped a whopping 15 percent, from 73 percent last year.
According to Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners–the public opinion and political strategy research firm that conducted the poll–told USA Today that in the past, Americans have cited varying issues that caused them the most anxiety regarding finances. However, retirement seems to have moved to the forefront today.
Interestingly, there was no clear division of opinions based on age, income, education or political party within the survey. For nearly all individuals polled, retirement was at the top of their list of concerns.
Economic Woes Have Impacted Opinions About Retirement
Since the recession officially came to an end and employers began hiring again, optimism toward the economy had begun to improve. However, in Sept. 2011, it plunged to nearly the same low it reached during the financial crisis in 2008, as reported by a Gallup Poll released this week by Wells Fargo.
The index of investor and retirement sentiment revealed a high optimism reading of positive 42 percent as recent as February of this year. But by September, that reading had dropped to negative 45 percent.
High unemployment, stock market volatility, issues between lawmakers in Washington and debt problems around the world have left many Americans feeling like their financial futures are in jeopardy. In fact, the Gallup Poll revealed 65 percent of Americans feel they have little or no control of their savings.
Some tips registered voters in the ASR poll delivered to lawmakers is that Social Security and Medicare should not be cut. These programs are needed to maintain their standard of living in retirement. Additionally, 88 percent polled said they wanted tax advantages that will help them save money for retirement.
As of now, it seems that retirement has become a fear-based concept. Americans are looking to ease that fear as they move toward becoming retired workers.