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Survey: Retired investors nervous

By Jennie L. Phipps · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Posted: 5 pm ET

Retired investors remain jittery about the state of financial markets, even though younger investors are increasingly optimistic, according to a new analysis of investor opinion.

The quarterly Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index rose from negative 8 in November 2012 to 38 this spring, a 30-point swing overall. But retired Americans, who represent 26 percent of those surveyed, see things differently than working-age investors. Their level of optimism has only risen to 7, up from negative 5 in November.

Exactly half of retired investors surveyed say low interest rates have harmed savers, investors and others doing retirement planning. Some 35 percent say that low rates have caused them to make investment choices that they otherwise would have avoided, and 45 percent say low interest rates will cause them to live less comfortably in retirement.

Taxes are another source of concern, with 59 percent of retired investors worried that their taxes are going to rise. Fear of future tax increases seems to be result of the uncertain political climate, with 88 percent of those surveyed saying that a politically divided federal government hurts the investment environment. "People on both sides of the aisle have a fear of the tax debate," says Laurie Nordquist, director for Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust.

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