When Will Retirement Savings Rebound Depends on Who You Ask

By Staff Report

May. 7, 2009

Nearly four out of 10 Americans—or 39 percent—said they expect it’ll take at least three years to recover the value of their retirement savings that were lost in the downturn.

A full 20 percent believe the recovery will take less than three years, but 24 percent predict a full recovery of losses will take at least six years. Only 4 percent expect their savings to recover by 2010.

The remaining 13 percent weren’t saving for retirement, according to a survey from St. Louis-based Edward D. Jones & Co.

The survey also found that people’s expectations of the market recovery differed based on their background.

For instance, it showed that middle-aged Americans anticipate that it will take them longer to recover, compared with the overall sample.

Fifty-four percent of Americans ages 45 to 54 believe it will take more than three years to recover from losses in retirement savings.

Meanwhile, the study showed that 45 percent of Hispanics expect it will take longer than three years to recover their savings, compared with 35 percent of African-Americans.

According to the survey results, 52 percent of respondents who earned $75,000 to $100,000 believe it will take more than three years to recover their retirement savings, compared with 25 percent of individuals who earned less than $35,000.

“No one can predict when the market will recover,” Alan Skrainka, chief market strategist at Edward Jones, said in a statement.

“If you look at similar declines in the stock market, the average recovery is two-thirds in two years, and full recovery in five years. [But] history is not always a guide, and this recovery could take longer.”

The survey was based on 1,000 telephone interviews of U.S. adults conducted April 23-26.

Filed by Lisa Shidler of Investment News, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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