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Have Retirement Nest Eggs Cracked

Author: COUNTRY Financial

Published: 2011-06-22

Synopsis and Key Points:

Americans ongoing uneasiness about their finances is putting some cracks in how they feel about their retirement nest eggs.

Main Digest

Has the Retirement Nest Egg Cracked? COUNTRY Index dips as confidence in retirement hits record low.

Americans' ongoing uneasiness about their finances is putting some cracks in how they feel about their retirement nest eggs.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® dropped one point to 63.7 in June, in part because confidence in retirement reached an all-time low.

Just 51 percent of Americans believe they will have enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement, a one-point drop since April and the lowest percentage since the inception of the COUNTRY Index in February 2007. The drop also marks a consistent decline since October 2010.

"With the slow-to-recovery economy, rising food and gas prices and discussions over government entitlement programs, concern over retirement is understandable," said Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning at COUNTRY Financial. "If you're feeling uncertain, reassess any long-term financial plans and identify potential cracks in your retirement nest egg."

To get started, Brannan recommends asking these key questions:

When was the last time I examined my retirement plan? If more than one year, you need a review.

Am I saving enough? Do I need to reevaluate my retirement goals, income or investments

Should I seek help in making my investment decisions

Adding to the drop in financial security sentiments were a decline in Americans' ability to save, fiscal security in the event of a death or disability and sense of overall financial security.

Just 45 percent of Americans were able to set aside money for savings and investments, down three points from April.

There was a two-point drop in those who say their families would live comfortably if they died or became disabled.

Thirty-seven percent rate their overall level of financial security positively this month, a one-point decrease.

Despite this pessimism, there was a two-point increase to 58 percent in those confident in the ability to send their children to college.

Women more confident than men for the first time ever

Women are more confident than men in nearly all aspects of their financial security for the first time in the 4-year history of the COUNTRY Index.

Fifty-three percent of women say they are confident they will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement. That is four points higher than men.

Seventy-eight percent of women are confident in their ability to pay debts as they come due. Just 75 percent of men say the same.

"When it comes to finances, men and women exhibit different attitudes and levels of risk tolerance. The sharper the divisions, the more important it is for couples to collaborate on their finances," adds Brannan. "Despite differences, both men and women need to put equal focus on planning for their short- and long-term financial goals to achieve financial security."

Survey Highlights:

TopicJune 2010April 2011June 2011
COUNTRY Financial Security Index64.864.763.7
Rate overall financial security as excellent or good41%38%37%
Able to set aside money for savings and investments46%48%45%
Enough money to enjoy a comfortable retirement56%52%51%

To access embeddable data charts and video interviews about the latest COUNTRY Index data please visit Individuals can also learn more and compare their own results with the national COUNTRY Financial Security Index. The next COUNTRY Financial Security Index will be released August 16, 2011 and subsequently every other month.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index - The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® is a bi-monthly measure of Americans' sentiments toward their overall financial security. It is an aggregate of various factors comprising financial security including savings and investments, financial planning, retirement, education and asset protection.

The COUNTRY Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, an independent research firm, based on a national telephone survey of at least 3,000 Americans.

The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About COUNTRY- COUNTRY Financial ( serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.

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