Retirement planning isn’t easy and it’s no secret that many Americans struggle with saving for it. Whether it’s because they’re weighed down by big debt, believe retirement is far off, or just forget to follow the retirement planning tips wise elders have bestowed upon them, Americans don’t save enough. To retire comfortably, you should have started saving at a young age. Even if you didn’t sock away money to retire when you were in your 20s, it’s never too late to save for retirement.

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Whether you’re just beginning to think about retirement, want to retire early, or are entering a new phase in your life, retirement planning is essential if you don’t want to end up struggling to live in the twilight years of your life. The good news is that more Americans are beginning to gain confidence in their ability to retire comfortably. Results from the 2014 Retirement Confidence Survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute show that Americans have more confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement than at any period in the past five years. The bad news: that confidence does not appear to be based on improved retirement preparations and may just be limited to folks with retirement plans.

Results from the survey, the longest-running annual retirement survey of its kind, show that only a minority of people appear to be taking basic steps to prepare for retirement. And in fact, the increased confidence is found almost exclusively among households who earn higher incomes and participate in a retirement plan.

“Retirement confidence is strongly related to retirement plan participation,” noted Jack VanDerhei, EBRI research director, and co-author of the report. “In fact, workers reporting they or their spouse have money in a contribution plan or IRA or have a benefit plan from a current or previous employer are more than twice as likely as those without any of these plans to be very confident (24 percent with a plan vs. 9 percent without a plan).”

Regardless of whether you are confident or not in your retirement plans, you must take action. If you don’t, you might end up a financial burden to your kids, struggle in your old age, or go broke in retirement. Explore our slideshow to find retirement planning tips that will help you save money and retire comfortably.


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