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People more optimistic about economy but downbeat about retirement

People are more upbeat about the global economy but pessimistic about their retirement prospects
Only 28% in U.S. think they'll be able to fully retire with nice lifestyle
Most people think they'll phase into retirement rather than stop working all at once

People around the world are growing more upbeat about the economic outlook in their countries, but most remain pessimistic about their retirement prospects, according to a new study.

About 28% of workers globally think their economies are improving, a sharp increase from 19% last year, according to the survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

But only 19% are very or extremely confident that they’ll be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle. Optimism about retirement is higher in the U.S. – 28% – but still far from universal.

"Despite improving economic sentiment, there is a continuing widespread lack of confidence about retirement prospects,” said Catherine Collinson, president of the retirement center.

The lack of adequate saving and preparation makes it likely that phasing into retirement – still working but part-time or with steadily declining hours – is likely to become the “new norm,” according to the poll.

Only 32% of people globally plan to stop working all at once and fully retire. In the U.S., only 24% of respondents plan to retire all at once.

“People see themselves phasing into retirement vis-à-vis a gradual shifting of their time with less and less spent working and more on leisure and enjoyment,” Collinson said. “This vision cannot be achieved unless governments implement reforms and employers adapt new business practices to facilitate such a transition."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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