51% expect to have enough money to live comfortably in retirement

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In this Nov. 6, 2015 file photo, an elderly couple walks down a hall in Easton, Pa. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, File)

In this Nov. 6, 2015 file photo, an elderly couple walks down a hall in Easton, Pa. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo, File)

NewsWorks Tonight host Dave Heller sits down for his weekly conversation with Gallup’s Frank Newport to talk about trends in U.S. opinion.

Fifty-one percent of working-age people think they will have enough money to live comfortably when they retire. Higher now than in the depths of the Great Recession, that rate of 51 percent is still low on an absolute basis. It’s also lower than it was prior to the recession.

Worry about retirement tends to peak in the 50-64 age range, when the issue becomes most salient.Young people, perhaps not focused on it yet, are most likely to believe they will have enough when they retire.

Social Security is by far the biggest source of income for retirees today, far exceeding any other “major” source of income.

But workers are 27 percent less likely to expect it to be a major source, putting it significantly behind their projected reliance on 401(k) plans and so forth.

Another discrepancy: Today’s workers project that they will retire at 66 — up from decades ago. Current retirees say, on average, they retired at 61.

Despite the recovering economy, Americans still like to see themselves as a people who enjoy saving rather than spending. This reinforces a lot of research saying that Americans like to perceive themselves as fiscally frugal, which explains why retailers constantly promote “sales” and “discounts.”

Listen to the audio above to hear the full conversation.

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