Have you developed a realistic retirement plan? Do you understand how much money you’ll need to save to be able to retire comfortably?

If the answer to these questions is "no" and you live in the Garden State, a new poll finds you’ve got plenty of company.

“There is a five-year gap between when people would like to retire versus when they think they are going to retire,” said Krista Jenkins, the director of the Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind poll.

“When you ask people at what age they would like to retire, the average age among Garden State residents is 61. But the actual age at which they think they are likely to retire is close to 70.”

The poll also finds a lot of people are not sure how much they’ll need to save in order to retire successfully.

“Only 35 percent say they are very sure they know what’s needed, and even fewer (28 percent) say they’re comfortable navigating the world of stocks, bonds and other investment tools.”

Jenkins said ignorance about retirement is found across all age groups.

“A quarter, or 24 percent of those under 35, and a third of those between the ages of 35 and 49 say they’re very sure about how much they’ll need to retire.”

However, “the 60-plus crowd are confident in their knowledge at 46 percent, but again across all of the age groups the majority indicate that they are still largely in the dark about how much they’re going to need in order to retire successfully.”

The survey also finds only 19 percent of respondents under the age of 35 think they understand investments well.

The poll also asked New Jerseyans whether they use financial advisers or their own knowledge and skill to manage their savings and portfolios.

“We find that 38 percent say they turn to advisers, with 60 percent who say they make their own decisions.”

Another finding of the poll: 72 percent of respondents said living in Jersey makes it harder for them to save for the future, while 20 percent said location doesn’t make a difference.


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