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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Many Americans continue to worry about not having enough money to live on after they retire. According a Feb. 8 survey from Wachovia Corp., 57% admitted they often or sometimes felt worried about how well prepared they will be for retirement, and 32% said they worried occasionally. Only 11% expressed no such concerns, and half of those polled worried about making mistakes with their retirement investments. The survey of 2,100 consumers with household income or investments exceeding $75,000 was conducted last fall, before Bush won reelection and began actively promoting his plan to change the 70-year-old Social Security system. A key element would have younger workers shift some payroll taxes into private stock and bond accounts. “Investors do make decisions often based on their emotions,” said Bob Reid, executive vice president of retirement strategy at Wachovia. “That’s not necessarily bad, but to the degree consumers act or don’t act based on worry or fear, they may suffer paralysis. And there is a huge level of uncertainty, worry and fear.” In the survey, 36% said they felt particularly intimidated, fearful and helpless about saving for retirement and admitted they weren’t saving enough. Another 11% were similarly worried but felt they were on the right track. Twenty-six percent said they were relatively unprepared and in a sense appeared “overconfident” about retirement savings, while the remaining 27% generally felt comfortable and in fact thought they were on the right track. Women were more concerned about retirement than men, and people who were worried were more likely to consider themselves inexperienced investors, according to the survey. People with children living at home were more likely to be saving too little. Some who weren’t saving enough said they preferred to enjoy life now rather than save for the future. Though just 16% were confident Social Security would be there when they retire, 50% said they didn’t want to put retirement principal at risk – such as by investing in stocks.

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