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Survey: Record Pessimism About Retirement

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- How are Americans feeling about retirement?  In one word: grim.

That's the finding of a new survey just released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, which asked 1,258 respondents how confident they felt they'd be able to afford a comfortable retirement.

Their pessimism set a new record for the 21-year old annual survey.  Twenty-seven percent declared themselves "not at all confident" they'd be able to retire comfortably, up from 22 percent the year before.  Only 13 percent said they were "very confident" of being able to.

Jack VanDerhei, research director at EBRI, says what surprised him most -- in light of the stock market's rebound in 2010 -- was the five percent increase in "not at all confident" responses.  The increase was not uniform, but varied according to income.

The increase in the total percentage of workers not at all confident appears to be largely the result of a loss of confidence among those who have less than $100,000 in savings, the report found.  That percentage increased sharply among people with savings of less than $25,000 (43 percent in 2011, up from 19 percent in 2007) and between $25,000 and $99,000 (22 percent in 2011, up from seven percent in 2007).

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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