How do you feel about retirement? Are you worried that you might not have enough saved to retire on time…or even that you might not be able to retire at all?
Well, if you’re afraid that you are not financially prepared for retirement, Welcome to the Club! In fact, according to The Retirement Confidence Survey, a recently released study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), approximately 39% of Americans surveyed are “not too or not at all confident” about being able to retire comfortably.
This is higher than the average for this group during the survey’s 27 year history. While this category hit its peak around 2012, the 39% mark is still above average. What’s interesting is that, after peaking around 2012, this category was actually in decline – at least until this current year, that is, when it jumped up from 35% to 39%.
The survey breaks down Americans into three groups: those who are “very confident” about their retirement prospects, those who are “very or somewhat confident,” and those who are “not too or not at all confident.”
Unsurprisingly, confidence levels tanked significantly beginning in 2008. The Great Recession took a serious toll on the psyches of Americans across the board. The percentage of Americans who were “very confident” was cut approximately in half, while the percentage who were “not too or not at all confident” increased greatly.
By 2016, Americans’ confidence about retirement had nearly returned to pre-recession levels, though not completely. However, according to the newest data available, compiled in early 2017, Americans’ confidence about retirement is once again falling.
Only time will be able to tell if this most recent dip in confidence is a mere blip on the radar or indicative of a long-lasting trend. All we know for sure, however, is that between 2016 and 2017 Americans’ confidence regarding retirement decreased.
There are several other statistics that this survey revealed. For example, 47% of Americans surveyed said that, excluding their house, their total savings and investments were less than $25,000. That’s including 24% of Americans who were surveyed who said that, excluding their home, their total savings and investments were less than $1,000! That’s right, nearly a quarter of Americans surveyed had less than a grand saved for retirement. It seems that the old American Dream of retiring comfortably at 65 is slipping through the grasp of many Americans.
These facts are not promising. What’s worse is that these Americans are likely to rely on Social Security upon retirement, a system whose own board of trustees has admitted will become insolvent by 2037. That unprecedented drop in retirement confidence is starting to make a lot more sense now…
If you’re one of those Americans who are worried about retirement, perhaps you should take a moment to consider all of your options. For instance, while retiring in the United States seems more and more out of reach each day, retiring in other parts of the world are incredibly feasible.
Many Americans are choosing the option of retiring abroad. This choice comes with many advantages. One of those advantages is that retirement savings will stretch a lot farther in a foreign nation. The cost of living is much, much lower in many foreign nations.
For example, it is possible for a couple to retire comfortably on $1,200 a month in the Central American nation of Nicaragua.
And before you jump to conclusions, you should read up a bit on the incredibly high quality of life that expats can experience in Nicaragua (and many other overlooked foreign nations as well).
It’s also worth noting that it is possible to draw Social Security while retired abroad, at least while the program lasts.
Americans’ confidence about retirement is on another down-swing. This is despite the markets being surprisingly high since the beginning of the year. Despite this lack of confidence, however, there are other options. Retirement in another country is always a great option for Americans looking to stretch their budgets.