Bloomberg: Americans Pessimistic About Prospects for Retirement

NewImage.jpgThe latest National Poll from Bloomberg found that after the worst recession since the Great Depression, Americans are pessimistic about the prospects for their retirement.

According to Bloomberg, three in five respondents say their economic condition has improved recently or are confident it will get better.  One in three say things have gotten worse or aren’t likely to improve anytime soon.

“I see some hope, but not a lot,” says poll respondent Brian Ridlon, 34, an out-of-work resident of Green Mountain, Arkansas, who wants to learn how to become a barber. “There are some avenues to improve yourself, but we need more.”


What optimism there is about the immediate future doesn’t carry over to the longer term. Pluralities of those polled say they’re not hopeful they will have enough money in retirement and expect they will have to keep working to make up the difference. More than 50 percent aren’t confident or are just somewhat confident their children will have better lives than they have.

“I don’t think they’ve got a chance,” says Brian Rich, a 65-year-old retiree with three children in their 20s who lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts. “I’m very angry at what’s going on in this country. Change is being forced upon us.”

A year after the official end of the recession, economic growth has slowed, slipping to a 1.7 percent annual pace in the second quarter from 3.7 percent in the first and 5 percent in the final three months of 2009. Unemployment stood at 9.6 percent in September, down from a 26-year high of 10.1 percent in October 2009 while still above the 5 percent rate that prevailed at the start of the recession almost three years ago.

Americans are responding to the tough times by conserving cash and making do with less over the past couple of years, according to the poll.


Americans See Children’s Future Dim in Poll as 50% Pessimistic

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  • What we have had is an economic recovery that never turned into a consumer recovery. The cuts in this recession were too deep for most consumers to recover to pre-recession levels near term.

    What is particularly frustrating for many is that there is not much which can be done at the micro level by consumers to help themselves turn things around. Few consumers are comfortable with the actions of their government at the macro level; most consumers question the competence of government at handling such matters.

    While President Obama has actively been communicating with the American people, his attempts have only injured his image. Somehow FDR was able to soothe a nation in much worse circumstances with his fireside chats. BHO does not seem to share that attribute. Because he failed to provide consumer economic recovery leadership, it seems his legislative opportunities will be dramatically reduced after late January.

    If Congress is as badly split as seems probable after late January, the negative consumer outlook most likely will not improve until there is a recovery in the housing industry or there is a substantial lowering of actual unemployment and substantial increases in compensation particularly in the area of employer paid retirement benefits.

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