Stock Market Volatility Makes Retirement Planning 'Impossible': Study

When it comes to retirement, Americans have high anxiety. And the three-lane highway of Social Security, retirement savings, and a traditional pension is full of potholes.

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Those are the major findings of a new nationwide survey being released today by the National Institute of Retirement Security.

With some 78 million Baby Boomers turning 65 this year, the survey finds:

  • 84 percent believe economic conditions are impacting their ability to have a secure retirement. More than 54 percent are very concerned.
  • 78 percent believe the average worker cannot save enough on their own to guarantee retirement.
  • 73 percent say stock market volatility makes it impossible to predict how much they will have in their retirement nest egg.

Pensions and access to them remain the most popular source of perceived retirement security, with a 72 percent reliability rating.

The survey says Washington is disconnected from retirement anxiety, focusing instead on health care reform and healing the economy from the effects of the recession.

Pension reformers, especaially those advocating more access to pensions, are facing an uphill battle.

Whether it's the budget battle in Wisconsin or deficit reduction in Washington, the costs of pensions are at the heart of efforts to balance budgets.

A full plate of issues for today's National Institute on Retirement Security conference in Washington, DC. Among the featured speakers are Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who chairs the Senate's Health, Education, and Labor Committee and Governor Dirk Kempthorne, President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers.