People often ask me "Why did you write the book, and what was the inspiration for the title?"
It all started when I read the 2012 Employee Benefit Research Institute's 22nd annual Retirement Confidence Survey. I was surprised by how pessimistic--yet naive--respondents were to what it takes to retire with confidence. I wanted to give people who have prepared a thumbs up, but I also wanted to wake the vast majority of people up. I elaborate on the 2013 report in Chapter Three.
As in the past, this year's survey is a good news-bad news report. The good news is that the confidence level is up for those with higher incomes and retirement plans. Eighteen percent are now very confident (up from 13 percent in 2013), while 37 percent are somewhat confident.
The bad news? The respondents are still fairly clueless about how much money it takes to retire. Of those who have saved for retirement, 22% said they saved $100,000 or more, but 38 percent report savings of less than $25,000. That’s not a bad number for young people, but it is a potential disaster for those above age 50.
Perhaps these numbers are so low because only 19% of the respondents reported getting investment advice from a professional