In spite of the uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, one expert said that retirement confidence is actually climbing — but only for those whose employment wasn’t interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Among those who lost their job during the pandemic, there is a “very different level of retirement confidence," Lori Lucas, president and chief executive at Employee Benefit Research Institute, said on Yahoo Finance Live (video above).
But for those whose employment was unaffected, 72% of workers are “somewhat or very confident about their retirement."
Lucas painted a tale of two different workers: married and employed, and those who are not. Unsurprisingly, the most confident workers happen to be married and employed whereas singles and unemployed individuals carry less optimism.
But retirement confidence can be pegged to more than just marriage and employment status. Lucas cited other “key variables” to retirement confidence as things like access to and participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan, a good handle on debt, and knowing how much they need in retirement.
The stock market rebound also fueled confidence because investors “were pretty good about staying the course” and “were able to enjoy the market increases that followed," Lucas said.
Debt is another “huge variable” found in “both with worker retirement confidence and with retiree confidence in retirement," she added, noting that debt is considered an impediment to saving and “causes [savers] a lot of stress in retirement.”
Another key to retirement confidence is knowing how much you’ll need to comfortably spend your golden years. If people have “taken steps to calculate how much they need in retirement” or have connected with a financial professional who can guide them, Lucas said, they’re generally better prepared.
“Even calculating how much you need in retirement is a good first step,” she said.