The 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), found that Americans are exhibiting stabilized confidence levels when it comes to their ability to face retirement. Despite an apparently improved outlook over the record-low confidence levels in 2009, the study reveals that the American population needs to resume saving and planning for retirement.

Five Retirement Trends

Here the key findings of the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey:

1. Deteriorating preparations for retirement.

Workers who reported that they and/or their spouse have saved for retirement have decreased from 75 percent in 2009 to 69 percent in 2010. Even worse, workers and/or their spouses who are currently saving for retirement have dropped from 65 percent in 2009 to 60 percent in 2010.

2. More people with no savings whatsoever.

The survey reported an increase in the percentage of workers who had saved less than $1,000 (from 20 percent in 2009 to 27 percent in 2010). Approximately 54 percent of workers reported that the total value of their household’s savings and investments is less than $25,000 (excluding the value of their primary residence and benefit plans)

3. Absence of savings goals.

Creating savings goals have always been a prominent factor in the success of actually building savings. Many workers have revealed that they have no idea how much they need to save in order to retire comfortably. Only about 46 percent of workers reported that they tried to calculate the size of the nest egg they need to build by the time retirement rolls around.

4. Expectations of retiring later.

An increasing number of American workers plan on delaying retirement and continue working to compensate for the investment losses suffered from the recent economic events. The percentage of workers who reported that they expect to retire after the age of 65 went up from 24 percent in 2005 to 33 percent in 2010.

5. Lack of institutional confidence.

With the gloomy spotlight on financial institutions over the past year, it is quite evident that Americans continue to express lack of confidence in institutions. Only 19 percent of workers and 22 percent of retirees say that they are very confident with banks; only 12 percent of workers and 13 percent of retirees say that they are very confident with insurance companies.

For the full results of the 2010 Retirement Confidence Survey, visit

Source: Ruth Helman, Craig Copeland, and Jack VanDerhei, “The 2010 Retirement Confidence.”

Survey: “Confidence Stabilizing, But Preparations Continue to Erode,” EBRI Issue Brief, no. 340, March 2010.

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  • mark

    Sorry to report that Wells Fargo took SEVEN months with our re-fi!!! Our two re-fi’s prior to this one took less than 35 days days. I hear that many banks banks are having problems, but I would sure AVOID Wells Fargo. NOTE: I contacted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and they simply sent polite (automated) emails, but nothing happened.

  • Unsatisfied

    I have sold my house and am supposed to be closing on it tomorrow morning. Was informed by the closing agent that I still have an open equity line on the house. This equity line was taken out when I bought the house 9 years ago and was promptly paid off with the proceeds from the sale of our previous house. The loan originated with Wachovia but was transferred to Wells Fargo when they took over Wachovia. My first attempt at calling to get information was met with the customer service agent not being able to locate my SSN# in their system. I was told I would have to answer 4 questions about myself. The first question was “Who was the lender for your car payment on a vehicle that you bought in Nov. of 2002?” Are you kidding????? It is 2013! Not only have I had multiple different vehicles between then and now but I can’t remember what lender I had. The other 3 questions were about the same. When I finished answering the questions she then submitted my answers and was told that I didn’t pass so my SSN would be locked out of the system for the next 24 hours and there was nothing she could do to help me from here.
    Called back, this time with husband’s SSN to try and access the information. Again the questions, this time I needed to know how much the car payment was each month for the vehicle that was purchased in Nov. of 2002. Again, ridiculous! Somehow managed to pass only to be told that his SSN didn’t generate any information in their system. Probably because the loan was more than 5 years old and had been purged from their system. The only way they could look farther into things was to put in a records request (there was no possible way for them to look up anything using out names, property address, dates, etc.) and they would get back to us within 21 business days. I was also told that there was no way to expedite any requests – they just get put into the system and sent to another department. Am I in a time warp? Is it 1950? Is there one poor soul stuck in the basement looking though boxes of files, haphazardly thrown on shelves and labeled with sharpie?
    So, here I sit, the night before we are supposed to be closing on our house being told that it probably won’t happen because someone dropped the ball 9 years ago and didn’t release the title before closing out the account (which by the way shows up as “paid in full” and “closed” on my credit report) at the mercy of a completely incompetent, impersonal, and poorly run big company.
    This is why I continue to do as much banking as possible with my small, hometown bank, that gladly helps me trouble shoot and goes out of their way to help make sure I am able to take care of my financial needs with as little effort and time as possible.
    After this fiasco I will be posting this experience as many places as possible and warning everyone that I meet to steer clear of them.