Broker Check

Retirement Confidence Rebounds, But Inflation Looms Large

June 06, 2024

The 2024 Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) Retirement Confidence Survey was recently released, and it provides an illuminating look at the current state of retirement preparations and mindsets across the country.

While the findings show reason for optimism, with 68% of workers and 74% of retirees feeling confident about their retirement prospects, this represents only a modest rebound from 2023's significant dip in confidence levels. Inflation remains the overarching concern, with 83% of workers worried that rising costs may impede their ability to accumulate sufficient savings.1

The survey data reveals a few other key themes that reinforce the importance of prudent, personalized retirement preparation:

Social Security Expectations
Social Security remains the bedrock of most retirement income strategies. An overwhelming 91% of retirees report receiving Social Security benefits, with 62% indicating it's a significant income source. However, only 25% of retirees say they grasp the program's nuances and how to optimize their benefits.1

Savings Imbalance
While Americans have ambitious retirement savings goals (one-third of workers believe they'll need $1.5 million or more), there's a disconnect with current realities. One-third of workers have less than $50,000 saved, and 14% have under $1,000 put away. This disparity underscores the necessity of developing a tactical, long-term strategy.1

Emergency Savings Needs
Two-thirds of workers would like more opportunities to save for unexpected expenses through their workplace retirement plans. Nearly one in five people admit to tapping their retirement funds for emergencies.1

Lifetime Income Appeal
There's been a notable uptick in interest regarding products that can provide a guaranteed income stream throughout retirement. A full 83% of workers contributing to an employer's plan are interested in converting some of their savings into a product that generates a steady income. As the risk of outliving one's assets remains a pressing concern, these products may play a greater role.1

Annuities can be structured to provide an income stream in retirement, but it’s critical to understand they have benefits and limitations. We can explore this in greater detail if you are interested.2

The 2024 EBRI survey highlights retirement preparation's complexity and evolving nature in the modern era. While no two individuals' situations are alike, constant monitoring, being proactive, and adaptability are required to navigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities.

Every year, when the EBRI study comes out, I'm one of the first to read through it to see what's on the minds of today's retirees. It helps me stay focused on current and future priorities for retirees. As your financial advocate, I'm here to provide the guidance, tools, and solutions to position you for the comfortable, worry-free retirement you've envisioned and worked diligently to achieve. If you have any questions or concerns, I'm happy to help.

1. EBRI.org, 2024

2. The guarantees provided by an annuity contract are contingent upon the claims-paying ability of the issuing company. Annuities come with certain limitations, fees, and charges, which may include account and administrative fees, underlying investment management fees, mortality and expense fees, and charges for optional benefits. It's worth noting that annuities generally impose surrender fees, which are typically highest if you withdraw your funds within the initial years of the contract. Withdrawals and income payments from annuities are subject to ordinary income tax. If a withdrawal is made before reaching age 59½, a 10% federal income tax penalty may apply unless an exception is applicable.