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Savviest cities for retirement

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

Hartford/New Haven, Conn., came out on top of the list of cities (or metro areas) where people are most prepared for retirement, according to this year's survey by Ameriprise Financial.

Overall this retirement planning report was bleak. Ameriprise noted that this year's survey was done in June, after the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Standard & Poor's 500 index had dropped more than 6 percent the month before. It speculated that the generally negative economic environment was what led only 47 percent of the people it surveyed to report that they were saving money in an employer-sponsored plan or their own savings plan. This was the first time this retirement savings rate dropped below 50 percent in the three years Ameriprise has sponsored this survey, the investment firm said.

People told Ameriprise that their confidence in their ability to retire comfortably is low. Only 23 percent said they were very confident they'll reach their retirement goals; 24 percent said they think they'll be able to live their dreams in retirement and 51 percent worried they'll outlive their savings.

Among people who are already retired, confidence wasn't much higher. Only 30 percent of retirees were very confident their retirement will work out the way they planned, and 27 percent say they aren't living their dreams in retirement. Some 37 percent worried they'll outlive their savings.

Ameriprise asked which retirement-related issues are most likely to affect voters' choices in the November presidential election. Here are issues that will impact Americans' decision in the election, and the percentages of adults who said the issue will affect them compared to people already living in retirement.

Health care will impact their voting decision: 60 percent (U.S. adults) and 71 percent (retirees).

Social Security: 55 percent and 71 percent.

Taxes: 53 percent and 57 percent.

Medicare: 52 percent and 69 percent.

Unemployment: 41 percent and 39 percent.

Here's the list of top 10 cities out of the 30 largest U.S. metropolitan areas whose residents are most prepared for retirement. Factors considered included savings rates, the number people who have sought help from a professional adviser and confidence in their preparedness.

  1. Hartford-New Haven, Conn.
  2. San Diego
  3. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.
  4. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Calif.
  5. Philadelphia
  6. Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
  7. Nashville, Tenn.
  8. Denver
  9. Pittsburgh
  10. Atlanta

And here are the bottom 10 cities with Washington, D.C., the least prepared:

  1. Washington, D.C.
  2. Charlotte, N.C.
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Chicago
  5. New York
  6. Baltimore
  7. Cleveland-Akron
  8. Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla.
  9. Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla.
  10. Los Angeles
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September 20, 2012 at 3:04 pm