Retirement Planning in Financial Crisis

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Retirement Planning in Financial Crisis Powered By Docstoc
					                                               Your Retirement
            RETIREMENT PLANNING CONSULTANTS
A Guide To Your Retirement Planning- April, 2010, Volume VII, Number 2

 Welcome to Your Retirement, our monthly web-newsletter with information that can help you with your retirement
 planning efforts. We provide straight-forward, easy to understand, unbiased and candid information. Feel free to use this
 information and to also pass it along to your friends and associates. You will find previous issues of our newsletter on our
 website.    If you are interested in additional information that can help you, be sure to check out our web site;
 retirementplanningconsultants.com or contact Robert R. Julian, at rrj1@cornell.edu



In This Issue:
Are You Ready For Retirement?
The Market Goes Up --- The Market Goes Down
Where You Retire To Can Make A Difference
Why Does The Average Investor (You?) Fail To Earn What The Market Can Provide?
Need Help In Finding A Financial Planner
Our Planning – Saving – Investing For Retirement: What Do You Really Need To Know?
Maximize Your Social Security And Other Tips

How Confident Are You About Your Retirement?

Are You Ready For Retirement?
According to Prudential‘s 6th Annual Report on Retirement Planning, Americans do not
feel ready for retirement. •

1. Half (51%) of American workers feel that they are ―behind schedule‖ in their
retirement savings goals; this is most pronounced among investors age55-64 (66%) • One
in five respondents feels ―very‖ confident that they will be able to save enough to retire
when they want. Confidence decreases significantly with age—only 9% of investors age 45-
54 are very confident. • Two-thirds of respondents over the age of 45 believe that they may
need to work longer and retire later than expected in order to afford retirement (66%).

2. Investors are ready for a new way to save for retirement. • The vast majority of
respondents (84%) feel that in light of the recent financial crisis there is a need to re-
evaluate how Americans plan and save for retirement, including the creation of new and
improved workplace retirement savings plans. • Only 25% are very confident in their
ability to make good decisions about their workplace retirement savings plan. • Seven in
10 respondents feel that retirement plan decisions are complicated. This impression is
greatest among those who feel that they are ―behind schedule‖ in their retirement savings
goals (77%) and who lack confidence in their ability to make good decisions about their
workplace retirement savings plan (88%)—suggesting that decision complexity may be a
driver of poor retirement preparedness. • Half (48%) of respondents seek guidance from


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employers to help make decisions about their workplace retirement savings plans, yet 39%
think plan materials and resources actually make it hard to make good decisions.

3. Investors think a fully automated workplace retirement savings plan could have helped
them better weather the 2008-2009 financial crisis. • Roughly 70% of respondents would
be pleased if their employers were to have automatically enrolled them in the company‘s
retirement savings plan. And 60% would be pleased if their employers provided a fully
automated retirement savings plan. • In fact, more than half (54%) of respondents believe
that they would have better survived the financial crisis if their employers offered savings
plans designed with the entire suite of automatic features. • 78% feel that even one
automatic feature could have had a positive impact.

4. Being on ―auto-pilot‖ is perceived as a new and improved way to save for retirement.
• A vast majority of respondents (85%) feel that a fully automated workplace retirement
plan represents a new and different approach to save for retirement. • 65% recognize an
automatic approach as ―an improved and modernized‖ workplace retirement savings plan.
• Four in 10 respondents feel that, with a fully automated savings plan, they would need
less education and materials to get them comfortable and investing regularly with the plan.

How about you? Are you ready? What concerns do you have?



The Market Goes Up --- The Market Goes Down
CNNMoney.com tells us that in order to build a nest egg large enough to see you through
retirement, which may last 30 years or more, we will need the growth that stocks can
provide.

The stock market returned 9.8% a year on average between 1926 and 2009, versus just
5.4% for bonds, according to research firm Ibbotson Associates. Given stocks' superior
returns over the long haul, most financial advisers recommend that investors whose
retirement is more than 20 years away hold at least 3/4 of their portfolios in stocks and
stock funds.

Of course, a stock-heavy portfolio can give you some hair-raising moments (or years). For
example, during the 1973-74 bear market, U.S. stocks lost 43% of their value - and it took
the market three-and-a-half years to recoup those losses. The stock market also suffered a
47.6% decline during the bear market at the start of this decade.

Some experts suggest that if you don't have the stomach for steep downturns, you might
increase your allocation to include more bonds or bond funds. Holding, say, 70% of your
portfolio in stocks and 30% in bonds will let you capture most of the long-term growth of
stocks while sheltering your investments to a certain extent during market downturns.




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Where You Retire To Can Make A Difference
Marshall Loeb, a columnist for CBS MarketWatch.com tells us that when we move into
our golden years, probably the largest and most daunting expense we will encounter will be
taxes. And Marshall says that we are not talking about one small item but quite possibly
many different kinds and sizes of assessments. ―Each one of our 50 states can enact and
enforce state and local taxes by the dozen, as well as property taxes by the hundreds, and
countless more.‖

He adds that they ―can vary so much in size and scope from place to place that they
sometimes become key factors in your decision of where to retire – indeed whether you
choose to retire at all.‖ Obviously, if you retire to a low-tax or no-tax state, you have an
economic advantage over those who do not. Only nine states have no broad-based state
income tax. Those states are: Alaska, Texas, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Washington and Wyoming. (In New Hampshire and Tennessee, income
tax is limited to dividends and interest income).
Loeb says that one way to determine which state is the least costly in terms of total taxes is
to check a study called "Tax Freedom Day." That's the day on which the ordinary
American's total federal, state and local tax bill is fully paid from his or her earnings for
the year to date. ―That is the day you stopped working for the government and started
working for yourself; that is, the day you earned enough to pay your federal, state and
local taxes and are now starting to make money you'll be able to spend on things for
yourself.‖

But before you pack up your belongings for the move, you should consider other possible
tax levies. Loeb says that ―In recent years, states posting the worst Tax Freedom Days;
that is, the highest overall tax bills have included Maine, New York, Ohio, Minnesota and
Hawaii. And states with the lowest overall taxes have included Alaska, New Hampshire,
Delaware, Tennessee and Alabama.‖

And it is not surprising that there are many other tax levies to consider before you decide
on where to retire. Loeb says that some retirees ―often spend a disproportionate share of
their income buying or selling housing. So a state's property and sales taxes can be more
significant than its income tax in determining total tax burden. Also ---state estate taxes
also can be decisive factors, especially for affluent people who expect to leave large estates
to their heirs.‖

Loeb also says that overall differences in local cost of living can be significant. ―For
example, Alaska has neither an income tax nor a sales tax, but its cost of food, clothing and
everyday services can be mountain high.‖ ―Before you make a final decision on where to
retire, or whether or not to move to a vacation home, be sure to consider not just a few but

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the many different taxes to which you may become vulnerable.‖

You could also be facing a tax on gain from selling your home. ―The tax consequences of
selling your home are famously pronounced. But they have been made generally easier
since Congress liberalized the law on selling homes in 1997.‖

"Some or all of the gain on the sale is not taxable as long as the taxpayers owned [the
house] as their principal residence for at least two years during the five-year period ending
with the date of the sale. The amount of gain that is not taxable is limited to $250,000 for a
single taxpayer (or a single taxpayer limited separately) and $500,000 for a married couple
filing a joint return. Significantly, unlike under the old law, this gain is eliminated from
taxable income and is not deferred to reduce the tax basis of any replacement residence.‖

There is no requirement to even purchase a replacement principal residence, which is one
of the reasons this change is so beneficial to retirees and others looking to downsize. This
tax break is available to taxpayers without regard to age and can be claimed multiple
times, but generally only once every two years.

Loeb adds that you should not overlook the issue of taxes when you move into retirement
and are thinking of the places you can retire to. ―You can be sure that the tax people in
your new location(s) will not overlook the issue of the taxes you will or won‘t pay.‖

Quotable Quote: ―One lesson is that performance during a bear market has little to do
with long-term returns. Both the best and the worst bear-market portfolios had difficulty
beating a buy-and-hold approach over the longer term. In an interview, Russell Wermers,
a finance professor at the Smith School of the University of Maryland, said he has found
from years of research that the odds of outperforming the market are very low, even for
sophisticated professional money managers using the most advanced techniques. The odds
are even worse for individual investors.

Professor Wermers acknowledged that the prospect of beating the market remains a
powerful temptation for many people. But the recent bear market may have opened some
investors‘ eyes, he said.―If active management doesn‘t acquit itself in a five-year period
that includes the worst bear market since the Depression,‖ he said, ―then it‘s yet more
compelling evidence that most investors should not even try.‖ N.Y. Times, Mark Hulbert,
1/10/2010




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Why Does The Average Investor (You?) Fail To Earn What The Market Can Provide?

Back in the 1990s, the first in a number of studies indicated that the average investor did
not realize the same returns as the mutual funds in which they were investing in. What did
the researchers find? Over the 20 years ending December 31, 2008, equity (stock) mutual
fund investors had average annual returns of only +1.87% while the S&P 500 Index
averaged +8. 35% over that same time period.

Why? One of the studies, the Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB) Study
conducted by Dalbar, Inc. found that many investors were not participating in long-term
mutual fund returns because of frequent switching among funds. The 2009 update of the
original sudy measures performance over the 20-year period extending from January 1,
1989 through December 31, 2008.

Dalbar is a research firm that provides research for financial professionals about investor
behavior. Their QAIB compares the returns from average individual investors to various
benchmarks. Their examination of the data for the entire mutual fund industry, over a
long period of time, reveals that the tendency to rush in when the market is going up and
rush out when the market is going down (market timing) reduces investor returns to a
fraction of what they would have made if they invested consistently over the same long
period.

The study found that "investors make most mistakes after down turns" and suggested that
"These mistakes occur because investors are driven by the fear that the markets will not
recover -- even though broad indices show that markets do indeed recover." Dalbar
illustrates how investors are often their own worst enemies. They often buy and sell at the
worst possible times.

Before these study results were published, no one worried too much about what kind of
returns investors were actually realizing. Everyone just assumed that whatever the large
mutual fund firms reported as returns were what investors got. These studies, however,
showed that many investors were chasing hot returns in order to get better returns. In
other words, they‘d jump from one hot fund to the other in hopes of increasing their
return. But just the opposite occurred.

Examining the flows into and out of mutual funds for the last 20 years, the Dalbar Study of
investor behavior found that market timers in stock mutual funds lost 3.29% per year on
average. The average investor earned 3.51% and those who pursued a consistent
investment strategy earned 6.8%. Over the same period the S&P 500 grew by 12.98%.

"This finding is consistent with the well known behavior of investors to brag about their
gains but remain silent about losses" said Lou Harvey, Dalbar President. "The occasional
money makers create the illusion that all timers are winners all the time. The fact is that
most timers lose money most often and this data now confirms it.‖


Dalbar states that their study utilizes the net of aggregate mutual fund sales, redemptions
and exchanges each month as a measure of investor behavior. These behaviors are then
used to simulate the ‗average investor.‘ Based on this behavior, the analysis calculates
‗average investor return‘.

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Basically, switching among investments has an effect on the eventual return received, both
on a long-term and short-term basis. Dalbar and others have found that investors who
tend to hop from one hot mutual fund to another not only fail to enhance their
performance over industry benchmarks, but have been shown to actually end up earning a
far smaller return because of their periodic switching among funds.

Why do so many of us investors hop from fund to fund so much? The reasons vary, but
studies indicate that some investors panic when losses occur and get out of the market.
Others frequently change their investments to chase the hottest returns. Unfortunately,
this hot performance mindset is aided by financial publications that routinely list the top
five or 10 or 20 best funds for the previous year. Investors often look at their own return
during the past 3 months, six months, a year --- compared with the ―hot‖ funds, and decide
to switch and get in on some of that high-powered performance.

However, the mass movement of many of us investors to funds with the best previous
performance often guarantees that those funds will not repeat as a top performer the next
year. The end result is that funds with hot performance one year often lag behind other
funds in subsequent years. Thus, those investors who flocked into these funds after their
best performance often find that they would have been better off had they stayed in their
old funds.

So, do we investors learn our lesson and look for funds with consistent long-term
performance? The answer for many of us is ―no,‖ and we continue hopping to the next hot
fund and hoping for a repeat performance that seldom happens.

The latest-- 2009 --- update of the original QAIB Study measures performance over the 20-
year period extending from January 1, 1989 through December 31, 2008. Considering that
this period includes both the 2000 – 2002 and 2007 – 2008 bear markets, one might
conclude that investors who frequently switch among mutual funds on their own might
have had better results than those of the actual mutual funds, but you‘d be wrong.

Basically, what did the most recent update to the Dalbar QAIB Study tell us investors?

   1. Over the 20 years ending December 31, 2008, equity mutual fund investors had
      average annual returns of only +1.87% while the S&P 500 Index averaged +8. 35%
      over the same time period.

   2. Fixed income fund investors had average annual returns of +0.77% over the same
      20-year period, while the benchmark Barclays Aggregate Bond Index averaged
      +7.43%.

   3. Note that both the equity and fixed income fund investors‘ average returns were less
      than inflation, which clocked in at 2.89% over this 20-year period of time.

   4. Confirming the ―lost decade‖ concept, Dalbar‘s study showed that the S&P 500
      Index had negative returns over 10, 5, 3 and 1-year time windows. Fixed income
      investors, however, fared better with the Barclay‘s Aggregate Bond Index averaging
      positive returns ranging from +4.65% to +5.63% over this period of time. However,
      neither the average equity fund investor nor average bond fund investor beat the
      benchmark returns over any of the 1 to 10-year time windows.


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Basically, the QAIB Study again, as it has for the past 15 years, shows that our own
behavior is detrimental to our own long-term investment goals. To sum it all up, many of
us mutual fund investors have been our own worst enemy --- market timing simply does not
work.




Quotable Quote: ―If your financial planner says he can earn you 6% annually, net-net-
net, tell him you'll take it, right now, upfront. In fact, tell him you'll take 5% and he can
keep the difference. In exchange, you will sell him your entire portfolio at its current
market value. You've just offered him the functional equivalent of what Wall Street calls a
total-return swap. Unless he is a fool or a crook, he probably will decline your offer. If he
is honest, he should admit that he can‘t get sufficient returns to honor the swap.‖ The
Intelligent Investor, Wall Street Journal,

Need Help In Finding A Financial Planner
There are a good number of us average (401(k) investors who rely on financial planning
professionals to help us with our saving – investing efforts. Marketwatch.com columnist
Chuck Jaffe tells us that the main problem is that we don‘t really know who to turn to.

―A profession, by definition, requires specialized training and testing. Doctors go through
years of education and post-graduate training before they qualify for a license; lawyers
must not only get a law degree but pass the bar exam. Financial planners pretty much just
have to fill out some paperwork, though the minimum requirements vary by state.‖

Another problem is that there are many definitions for ―financial planning.‖ ―Jaffe says
―There are dozens of definitions for "financial planning." The problem is there's no
universal definition -- one that counts in Congress and in every state.‖

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And a designation is now a more distant prospect. The Financial Planning Coalition -- a
group comprised of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the Financial
Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors --
backed away from its effort to get Congress to establish a definition of ―financial
planning‖.

Jaffe tells us that the basic issue is that ―Financial planning is not a profession. While
planners and advisers like to compare themselves to doctors and lawyers, the truth is that
they are more like plumbers and auto mechanics.‖

Mandatory education is certainly useful and crucial when you are hiring an adviser, but
Jaffe says that ―it‘s not required for a provider to hang out a shingle. Courses and exams
are necessary to show proficiency at certain aspects of selling investments or insurance, but
not essential to everyone who provides the services that currently pass for financial
planning.‖

Jaffe notes that ―Every time the financial-planning business suffers a black eye, some of the
providers create their own titles. They are "wealth specialists" or "financial counselors,"
titles that sound great but have even less of a standard definition than "financial planner.‖

Jaffe says that the U.S. House of Representatives in December passed a financial
regulatory-reform package but stopped short of defining financial planning but calls for a
study of the planning industry to be completed within six months of passage of a final bill.
The Senate Banking Committee has not yet issued its final version of a bill for the Senate to
consider.

Jaffe says ―The bottom line is simple: Consumers would be better prepared to deal with the
financial-planning business in all of its forms if they knew exactly what they were getting
when they signed up with a "financial planner."

He adds that as long as that standard is blurry, consumers can take nothing in the planning
business at face value. ―That makes it harder for financial advisers to do their job, and
makes consumers distrustful of the entire industry. Don't expect change anytime soon.‖
Let the buyer beware.

Quotable Quote: ―Five years has long been an industry standard for measuring mutual
fund investments, and the most recent five, of course, have not been pretty. The worst year
was clearly 2008, when more than nine out of ten funds lost money, and in most cases quite
a bit. The more distressing statistic: In the past five years the average annual return for



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all mutual funds was barely 2 percent,even less than the rate of inflation.‖ Smart Money,
March 2010




Maximize Your Social Security And Other Tips




Weigh Your Options: Avoid a benefit cut. Collect at 62 and your benefits will be reduced
by up to 30% for the rest of your life. Wait until 66 (for those born between 1943 and 1954)
or later to collect your full benefit.

Do Some research: Married couples have several choices when it comes to how and when
each spouse collects benefits. Read Secret Ways to Boost Your Social Security.

Collect on your ex. If you were married at least ten years and haven't remarried, you may
be able to collect spousal or survivor benefits based on your ex's work record.

Patience pays off. Wait until age 70 to collect. Delayed-retirement credits can boost your
monthly benefit by up to 32%. Crunch your own numbers at www.ssa.gov/estimator.

Boost your savings. Enroll in your company 401(k) plan (or don‘t drop out in you are
automatically enrolled).

Capture the match. Contribute at least enough to qualify for your employer‘s
contribution. Otherwise, you are walking away from free money.

Go on autopilot. Sign up for an automatic-escalation feature that increases your future
contributions by 1% or 2% a year.



                                              9
Our Planning – Saving – Investing for Retirement Workshop: What Do You Really Need
To Know?

Paul Farrell, columnist for MarketWatch.com, provides us with a look at America‘s
investors. He says there are 8 million ―already millionaires.‖ Then, you have the masses –
292 million with portfolios averaging under $50,000. Farrell says that the rich are the folks
who control 85% of America‘s assets.

Farrell, who has been reporting on the simple lazy investing mutual found portfolios that
we have featured in this newsletter, tells us that in one of his first columns for
MarketWatch, he reported on an article in Kiplinger‘s 1997 Mutual Funds Annual that
had a show-stopping title: "9,111 Funds You'll Never Have to Own.‖ ―Our column
expressed doubt: "You Only Need 3 Funds, Maybe 4. But Can You Really Forget the
Other 9,111?"

Kiplinger's strategy was quite simple: "Organizing your investments into a coherent
portfolio of funds is easier than you think. A sensible solution for many investors requires
as few as three mutual funds.‖

Kiplinger‘s, like a good number of other financial publications, publishes a ―Best Funds‖
list. But Farrell and others have problems with lists of this type. ―In 2001
InvestmentNews, a newspaper for professional advisers, reported on a study; "Publishers
'Best' Prove Average: Lists of the 'Top' Mutual Funds Beat a Path to Nowhere." The story
concluded: "If you had bought virtually any fund recommended by the various 'best of'
lists published last year, you likely would have lost money [and] underperformed the
market."

"Best Funds" lists are even more popular, even though InvestmentNews reported in 2004
that over 75% of actively managed funds underperformed their benchmarks the prior 10
years. And in 2007, only 13% of funds consistently repeated in the top star ratings.‖

What should really matter is that for 10 years Farrell has been passing along to us two
consistent messages: ―Save regularly and invest lazily. Do they work? Apparently so from
the 40,000 or so e-mails we've received. Readers tell me they tire of the relentless confusing
noise about fickle markets, 8,000 stocks and 18,000 funds.‖

Sure, Wall Street would like to have us get caught up with all of the hype but as Farrell and
others who have reported on or developed their own Simple, Lazy Portfolios, the proof is in
the returns --- ―75% of actively managed funds underperformed their benchmarks the
prior 10 years. And in 2007 I-News reported that only 13% of funds consistently repeated
in the top star ratings.‖

In our 2010 workshop --- Planning – Saving, Investing For Retirement, we look at the
basics of this topic. On the financial side, we also look at what the index funds are almost
certain to deliver on: to guarantee investors their fair share of whatever returns over
financial markets are generous enough to provide. We look at a number of simple, lazy-
low-maintenance portfolios that utilize index funds. What is the aim of this approach? It
is to produce a portfolio of low-cost mutual funds investing in asset classes that are likely to
outperform the S&P 500 Index and many, if not most actively managed mutual funds.


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Talk to the people in your benefits – compensation – HR office about our workshop and
how it can help you and your fellow employees with you efforts and plans. Ask them to get
in touch with us so that we can bring this informative program to your work place. We
think you, the average investor, can gain a great deal from participating in this workshop

Quotable Quote: ―Although only 11% of mutual fund assets are in index funds, the
proportion is rising. And a recent survey of institutional investors (such as pension funds
and endowments) by Greenwich Associates found that one in five had moved money from
actively managed funds to index funds in the past year. Chris McNickle, managing director
of Greenwich Associates, says that "in a market where some active managers
underperformed spectacularly, many institutions are seeking the predictability of index
funds." Kiplinger‘s Personal Finance 9/2009


How Confident Are You About Your Retirement?
Every year since 1993, the Employee Benefit Research Institute has conducted their annual
Retirement Confidence Survey. The 2009 survey finds that Americans‘ confidence in their
ability to afford a comfortable retirement has dropped to its lowest level since their first
survey.

The RCS first asked the question in 1993, reflecting worries about the economy and the
cost of health care. In response, many workers are adjusting their expectations about
retirement, and some are taking steps to improve their financial preparation. However,
faulty assumptions and a lack of planning still hinder the ability of many Americans to
realistically assess the preparations they need to take to ensure a financially secure
retirement. What did the RCS discover in 2009?

• The percentage of workers very confident about having enough money for a comfortable
retirement continued a two-year decline (13 percent, down from 27 percent in 2007 and 18
percent in 2008), reaching its lowest level since the RCS started asking the question in 1993.
Retiree confidence in having a financially secure retirement has also dropped to a new low,
with only 20 percent now saying they are very confident (down from 41 percent in 2007
and 29 percent in 2008).

• Confidence in specific financial aspects related to retirement also decreased. In particular,
the percentage of workers very confident in having enough money to take care of basic
expenses decreased to 25 percent (down from 40 percent in 2007 and 34 percent in 2008). In
addition, the percentage very confident in having enough money to pay for medical
expenses fell to 13 percent for workers (down from 20 percent in 2007 and 18 percent
in 2008) and 25 percent for retirees (down from 41 percent in 2007 and 36 percent in 2008).

• Not surprisingly, workers overall who have lost confidence over the past year about
having enough money for a comfortable retirement most often attribute it to the recent
economic uncertainty (92 percent a great deal orsome) and inflation and the cost of living
(88 percent). However, more than 90 percent of those experiencing job loss or a move to a
lower-paying job (95 percent), a decrease in the value of retirement savings (93 percent),
or an increase in level of debt (91 percent) say that these events contributed a great deal or
some to their loss of confidence.
                                              11
• Workers apparently expect to work longer because of the economic downturn: Twenty-
eight percent of workers in the 2009 RCS say the age at which they expect to retire has
changed in the past year. Of those, the vast majority (89 percent) say that they have
postponed retirement with the intention of increasing their financial security. Nevertheless,
the median (mid-point) worker expects to retire at age 65, with 21 percent planning to
push on into their 70s. The median retiree actually retired at age 62, and 47 percent of
retirees say they retired sooner than planned.

• More workers are also planning to supplement their income in retirement by working for
pay. The percentage of workers planning to work after they retire has increased to 72
percent in 2009 (up from 66 percent in 2007 and 63 percent in 2008). This compares with
34 percent of retirees who report they actually worked for pay at some time during their
retirement.

Workers who have lost confidence in their ability to secure a comfortable retirement say
they are responding by taking some steps to improve their situation. Most (81 percent) say
they have reduced their expenses, while others are changing the way they invest their
money (43 percent), working more hours or a second job (38 percent), saving more money
(25 percent), and seeking advice from a financial professional (25 percent).

• The percentage of all workers saying they and/or their spouse have saved money for
retirement now stands at 75 percent, an increase over the percentages measured in 2004–
2007 and one of the highest levels ever measured by the RCS. The proportion of retirees
who report having saved for retirement has remained relatively constant at 62 percent.

• Many workers still do not have a good idea of how much they need to save for retirement.
Only 44 percent of workers report they and/or their spouse have tried to calculate how
much money they will need to have saved by the time they retire so that they can live
comfortably in retirement. An equal proportion—44 percent of workers—simply guess at
how much they will need to accumulate.

• Perhaps not surprisingly, those who were more knowledgeable about and prepared for
retirement posted a sharper loss of confidence than those who were not. Among the
percentage of workers who have done a retirement savings needs calculation, the
percentage reporting they are very confident decreased from 29 percent in 2008 to 19
percent in 2009. (Among those not doing a calculation, the percentage very confident
remained steady at 9 percent in 2009, compared with 8 percent in 2008.) Likewise, among
those with $100,000 or more in savings and investments, the percentage dropped from 35
percent in 2008 to 26 percent in 2009.

How about you? How confident are you? What concerns do you have?




                                             12
For additional information or if you have any questions, contact, Robert R. Julian,
Retirement Planning Consultants, 313 Blackstone Avenue, Ithaca, New York 14850, (607)
257-1936, email: rrj1cornell.edu. Visit our website at retirementplanningconsultants.com.
Retirement Planning Consultants provides a number of resources designed to help
individuals make informed decisions on planning – saving – investing for retirement. We
offer unbiased and easy-to-understand information from an impartial outside source.
We‘ve been doing that for almost 30 years. Our ―Planning – Saving – Investing For
Retirement‖ workshops have helped thousands of individuals.

This newsletter intends to present factual up-to-date, researched information on the topics
presented. We cannot make any representation regarding the accuracy of the content or its
applicability to your situation. Before any action is taken based upon this information, it is
essential that you obtain competent, individual advice from an attorney, accountant, tax
adviser or other professional adviser. Information throughout this newsletter, whether
stock quotes, charts, articles, or any other statements regarding market or other financial
information, is obtained from sources which we, and our suppliers believe reliable, but we
do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness or accuracy of this information. No party
assumes liability for any loss or damage resulting from errors or omissions based on or use
of this material.



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