Research and Statistics

Infographic: Debt clouds retirement optimism


Large amounts of debt has workers feeling pessimistic about their ability to retire in financial security.

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The clouds may be lifting on the economy, but workers forecasting their chances for a comfortable retirement remain gloomy — especially those in debt.

The Employee Benefit Research Institute measured record lows in retirement confidence in 2011 — and confidence remains low this year, according to EBRI’s 2013 Retirement Confidence Survey. Twenty-eight percent of workers are not at all confident that they’ll have enough money to retire comfortably.

A big part of that pessimism is debt. Sixty percent of the 1,003 workers surveyed say that the amount of debt they carry is a problem — and that debt, the survey found, is feeding into their attitudes about retirement. Only 3 percent of workers who describe their debt as a “major” problem also say they feel “very confident” about being ready to retire comfortably. More then half of them, meanwhile, say they are “not at all confident” that they’ll retire in financial security.

The chart below shows how workers with varying levels of debt feel about their retirement prospects.

Retirement and debt
See related:How credit card debt delays retirement dreams

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