Survey: fewer saving for retirement

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After years of growth, the number of Americans who say they are saving for retirement is dropping, according to a survey released last week by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and two other groups.

The 2001 Retirement Confidence Survey shows the percentage of individuals who say they have personally saved for retirement decreased from 75 percent in 2000 to 71 percent in 2001. Still, that's a higher percentage than in 1998, when just 59 percent were saving.

Even fewer Americans (46 percent) have attempted this year to calculate how much money they need to save for a comfortable retirement.

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"Half of workers who say they did a savings-need calculation say they changed their retirement planning as a result," says Don Blandin, president of the American Savings Education Council. (ASEC). "The mere act of calculating your retirement numbers makes you aware of all the elements that affect your financial future, such as Social Security, and turns you into a more disciplined saver."

For those who haven't figured out their retirement needs, EBRI and ASEC maintain a website (www.choosetosave.org) that contains more than 100 financial-planning calculators.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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