CARP Readers weigh in on their retirement savings during there trying economic times

The majority of CARP Action Online readers agree that they are at least confident that they will have enough funds to live on comfortably in retirement, although just one fifth say they are very confident of this. Among those who use a financial advisor, the majority say, while some money was lost recently, they have followed their advisors’ advice to hang on to investments. About two thirds of those managing their own funds say they lost some money but are content with their performance. The vast majority of those who rely on pensions agree that their pensions are at least “quite secure”. Three quarters of respondents believe government stimulus spending can help the economic situation at least somewhat.

The majority of respondents are fully retired (79%), a few are retiring soon (15%) and very few are still working (6%).

Two thirds say they are at least “confident” (69%) they will have enough funds to support themselves comfortably through retirement, but just one fifth says “very confident” (18%).

Most respondents say their investments are handled by an advisor (42%), followed by equal proportions who say either they manage their investments themselves (29%) or that they have no investments to manage (29%), relying solely on pensions.

Two thirds of respondents say their experience with a financial advisor was neutral, in that they lost some money recently, but followed advice to hang on (68%). One quarter had a very negative experience and lost a lot of money (24%) while a fortunate few say their advisor saw trouble coming and saved them money (8%).

The pattern with self-managers is the same – the majority lost some money but are fairly content (66%), one fifth lost a lot of money (22%) and a fortunate few anticipated the crisis and sheltered their investments (12%).

Those who rely on pensions believe them to be secure, with one quarter saying they are “very secure” (24%) and one half saying “quite secure” (54%).

Three quarters of respondents think government stimulus can help the economy, with one fifth saying it can help “a great deal” (21%) and more than half saying it can help “somewhat” (57%). Very few think it can’t help at all (4%).

Survey results are based on a self-selected sample of 566 members of CARP who received the organization’s online newsletter. Results can be said to be accurate within 4.5%, either up or down, at the 95% confidence level. That is, if all recipients of CARP Action Online who responded to surveys were asked these questions, their answers would be within 4.5% of those shown here, 19 out of 20 times asking the identical question.