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Slim majority of retired U.S. investors hopeful about 2016

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Staff writer | Monday March 21, 2016 7:32AM ET
U.S. investor
Gallup   Investor sentiment down from 2015

A slim majority of retired U.S. investors - 54% - are optimistic they can maintain their current income over the next 12 months.

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A similar percentage - 51% - are optimistic they can meet their investment targets in the next year. Both figures are down from 2015, when closer to 60% in every quarter were optimistic about the two goals.

However, retired U.S. investors are more positive about the longer term than the short term, with 64% now optimistic about meeting their investment goals over the next five years. That is slightly higher than the average in 2015.

In the long run, most (83%) are still confident that their savings will be enough to last throughout their lives. However, tying in with the decline in retirees' optimism about maintaining or growing their income, the percentage who are "very confident" their savings will last has slipped slightly from 47% in the previous survey to 39% now.

Nonretired U.S. investors express similar optimism as retirees about meeting their short- and long-term investment goals, but are significantly more optimistic about maintaining or increasing their income over the next year: 65% vs. 54%.

With stock market volatility spilling over from last year into 2016, retired U.S. investors are more wary of putting their money into stocks.

Sixty percent now say it is not a good time to invest in stocks, up from 45% the previous quarter. By contrast, a slight majority of nonretired U.S. investors (52%) still believe it is a good time to invest, while 45% say it is not.

Confidence has also dipped among retired investors in the stock market as a place to save and invest for retirement. Just over one-third (36%) have "quite a lot" (27%) or "a great deal" (9%) of confidence now, compared with 42% in the earlier survey.

Volatility in the stock market remains a concern for about two-thirds (67%) of retired U.S. investors, virtually the same percentage as in the previous survey (66%). However, a majority (54%) believe the recent volatility is a temporary pattern, not the new normal. Matching their actions to that outlook, more than eight in 10 (84%) retired investors made no changes to their stock portfolio during the January market plunge.


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