Rewind: Retirement Overconfidence, April 2006

by John Glynn on November 13, 2009

In April 2006, I was in Chicago preparing to give a best man toast at a wedding. I jotted down some notes on something I had with me for reading material. And this morning, cleaning out some stuff in my office, I came across the notes, turned them over to see what I had written on.

Wow. This was 3.5 years ago, and the study that the above article references indicated that 68% of workers surveyed reported that they were confident about their retirement savings. It also suggested that 53% of them had less than 25k saved for retirement.

That sounds like a horrible mis-match, but to me, that’s only ~21% that are delusional for certain (assuming the 32% NOT confident are all in the group that has less than 25k saved so far.)

But 77% had less than 100k saved for retirement. When we retire at ~67, and live to 78 (78 is the US life expectancy as of 2007), that 100k isn’t going to provide much of a Winnebago budget if it has to last for 11 years.

  • SIDE NOTE- And at least one prominent US doctor believes the first person to live to age 150 is currently a man in his mid-50s. Read that again. Do you still want to plan to retire in your 60s?

So where are they now? I’d love to see what the current survey says. How many are confident about their retirement planning now that we’ve passed into this era of economic crisis. How much has it affected confidence? (How much has it affected savings?). And how will it shape our expectations, planning, and savings habits going forward?

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