Most Americans remain unprepared for retirement, according to the 2003 Merrill Lynch Retirement Preparedness Survey. The median reported value of all household retirement savings was $40,000, and a fourth of respondents said they don't have retirement accounts.
Also, investor confidence has plummeted in the past five years; according to the survey, only 47% of Americans are either somewhat or very confident that they will have saved enough for retirement, down from 90% in 1998. In addition, one-third of respondents don't think they will be able to retire at age 65, and only 20% are "very confident" in their investing ability overall.
The survey was based on telephone interviews of 1,000 people between aged 25 and 65, with an additional sample of 100 people aged 60 to 69.