Only 28% of respondents said they have not yet planned for financial security in retirement, down from 32% last quarter. Those working with a financial adviser are more prepared—75% of workers who use a financial professional are planning for retirement security, compared to only 49% of workers who do not use a financial professional.
The Index also found more American workers feel secure about the country’s overall economic outlook. More than one-third of workers (35%) describe their economic outlook as optimistic, up from just 21% in the third quarter of 2012, the last time workers were asked their views on the overall economy.
However, American workers remain cautious when assessing their expectations for the next year. While 40% of workers think the economy will improve throughout 2013, a majority (60%) still believe the economy will stay the same or worsen. Additionally, 44% of employees are holding off from making long-term financial commitments, such as buying a home or a car, due to the current state of the economy.
Of the 64% of workers who expect to receive a federal or state tax refund from their 2012 tax return, 46% plan to save or invest the refund, 38% will use it to pay down short-term debt, and 23% will pay down long-term debt. Fifteen percent will spend their refund on consumer products and 7% will spend on a big ticket purchase.
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive in first quarter 2013 among 1,100 employees. View the full survey results and download an infographic at www.principal.com/wellbeing.