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Group of seniors expressing happiness at a retirement facility.

Retirement Confidence Edges Up, With Some Optimism

After falling in 2023 by the widest margin since the 2008 financial crisis, retirement confidence began to edge back up in early 2024. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s 2024 Retirement Confidence Survey, workers who said they are at least somewhat confident in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement rose to 68%, up from 64% in 2023. Retiree confidence also rose slightly to 74%, up from 73%.

Citing the U.S. Census Bureau, the study speculated that one reason for the uptick might be that wage growth is now outpacing inflation. More than a quarter of workers and nearly a third of retirees who are confident said they feel that way due to stable assets and steady income.

In addition, although inflation remains a concern for some, overall economic anxiety seems to be abating.

Economic Concerns Subsiding

Inflation remains a driving factor for those who lack confidence in achieving a comfortable retirement. Among those who report little or no confidence, 31% of workers and 40% of retirees say inflation is the reason. In addition, about eight out of 10 workers and seven out of 10 retirees say that the increasing cost of living will make it harder for them to save as much as they want.

However, “significantly fewer” workers are worried about inflation remaining high over the next year and about a looming recession. Concerns about inflation dropped by eight percentage points among workers and seven percentage points among retirees. Recession worries dropped by nine percentage points among workers and an impressive 15 percentage points among retirees.

The tables below represent the percentage of workers and retirees who said they were at least somewhat concerned about the event affecting their finances in retirement.

Working for Pay and Retirement Age

As in past years, significant differences exist between worker expectations and retiree realities in terms of anticipated retirement age and whether paid work will supplement retirement income.

While 65% of workers expect to retire at age 65 or older (or never), 70% of retirees left work before the age of 65, with seven in 10 saying the reasons for leaving were “out of their control.”

Although three quarters of workers plan to work for pay in retirement, just 30% of retirees reported any sort of work-related income.

JS Morlu LLC is a top-tier accounting firm based in Woodbridge, Virginia, with a team of highly experienced and qualified CPAs and business advisors. We are dedicated to providing comprehensive accounting, tax, and business advisory services to clients throughout the Washington, D.C. Metro Area and the surrounding regions. With over a decade of experience, we have cultivated a deep understanding of our clients’ needs and aspirations. We recognize that our clients seek more than just value-added accounting services; they seek a trusted partner who can guide them towards achieving their business goals and personal financial well-being.
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