Vast majority of near-retirees believe they’ll actually retireNews added by Benefits Pro on March 14, 2014

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By Paula Aven Gladych

Nearly 90 percent of people between the ages of 55 and 64 believe retirement is real and they will one day not need to work and still be able to live comfortably, according to a self-directed online investor tracing study conducted by E*TRADE Financial Corporation.

Eighty-one percent of the total population believes they will retire between ages 55 and 74, the survey found. Only 5 percent don’t think they will ever retire.

A high percentage of those polled, 63 percent, believe they won’t have to work at all in retirement.

It is important to note that those surveyed are self-directed investors, so “they are all about doing their homework, validating their thinking with professionals when they have a question, and executing a plan,” said Lena Haas, senior vice president of investing and saving at E*TRADE Financial. “Confidence is a direct result of this process – it’s about knowing that the steps you take today will set you up for tomorrow.”

The study suggests that a successful strategy for self-directed investors is to start early, use an online tool, make automatic contributions and don’t tap the well early.

Forty-seven percent of those over the age of 65 said they wished they had started saving for retirement earlier, but 81 percent said they have never taken money out of their IRA or 401(k) before the age of 59.5.

More than half of the total population recommends online tools that help determine monthly contributions, followed by talking with a professional, 43 percent, attending in-person seminars, 25 percent and watching online tutorials, 23 percent.

The E*TRADE Financial family of companies provides financial services including online brokerage and related banking products and services to retail investors.

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