82% of Americans Say the Pandemic Has Shaped Retirement Plans

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The coronavirus pandemic has turned life upside down — and for a large percentage of Americans, that includes their retirement savings plans.

Most Americans say the pandemic has impacted their retirement plans, with 82% reporting that the events of the past year have impacted their post-work goals, according to Fidelity Investments’ 2021 State of Retirement Planning Study.

For some, the situation is gloomier than it was before the pandemic. About one-third of Americans say it will take two to three years to get their retirement savings back on track. These folks cite events such as a job loss or retirement account withdrawals for putting their nest egg in a worse position.

But others are doing much better. In fact, the vast majority of Americans remain confident they will still be able to retire when and how they want. And 36% are more confident now in their plans than they were before the pandemic.

In a press release, Melissa Ridolfi, senior vice president of Retirement and Cash Management at Fidelity Investments, says:

“Although the survey indicates 36% of Americans are more concerned now than at the start of the pandemic on their ability to maintain a nest egg in retirement, at Fidelity, we saw retirement savings accounts reach record levels in the fourth quarter of 2020 and also experienced record levels of planning engagements with clients throughout the year.”

For its report, Fidelity surveyed 1,204 adult financial decision-makers who are still working. Respondents had at least one investment account. Those over the age of 34 had at least $100,000 investable assets.

Overall, Fidelity research shows that 79% of respondents indicate they re-evaluated their priorities over the past year.

The Fidelity research is the latest to find that although the pandemic has deeply damaged the financial prospects of some Americans, others are doing better than ever.

Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve’s quarterly release on U.S. financial accounts reported that household net worth grew to $122.9 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2020. That was up from $116.2 trillion in the third quarter and $111.4 trillion at the end of 2019.

Net worth represents the value of a person’s (or household’s) total assets minus their liabilities, as we detail in “14 Money Terms to Learn So You Don’t Die Broke.”

How to get your retirement on track

Chances are good that you are among the vast majority of Americans who are rethinking retirement plans. The best way to plan intelligently is to educate yourself about the realities of preparing for and living in retirement.

If you are ready to tack this project, consider enrolling in Money Talks News’ retirement course, The Only Retirement Guide You’ll Ever Need.

This 14-week boot camp is intended for those who are 45 or older. It maps everything you need to know about retiring, including Social Security “secrets” and how to invest in a manner that will make your golden years gleam.

For more on retirement investing, check out “7 Keys to Stress-Free Retirement Investing.”

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