For anyone still employed after the last four years of economic tumult, making plans 90 days in the future has become a big deal - especially when it comes to retirement planning.
But the most recent round of Country Financial Security Index surveys does suggest that American workers are showing just a little bit of optimism, even if a traumatic period of federal election in-fighting and name-calling is underway.
The most telling stat from the survey: Some 79 percent of those polled are fairly confident they won't lose their jobs in the next 90 days, a market improvement from the responses generated back in 2009.
People are also realistic that employment (and employers) is anything but stable, four full years after the meltdown, and they've figured out that having a real emergency savings fund is an important plan. Much less, making any long-term retirement savings plans.
For those who did the math, 53 percent say they realized that having savings equivalent to six months' worth of salary would be important if the axe does fall. And that's consistent with Bureau of Labor stats that suggest the average period of unemployment is approximately 10 months, if not a little short-sighted.
Unfortunately, those workers in the near-lowest income categories also acknowledge that things could change in an instant. Nearly a third of respondents making $20,000 to $40,000 say they still feel they could lose their job in the next three months.
What do workers say has the biggest influence on their job, and its security? About a quarter say it's their own performance and job skills and another quarter say the performance of their own companies sets the standard, but 26 percent say that the economy and/or government policies are still keeping their jobs in the balance.
"With the political debates about the economy heating up and conflicting opinions all over the news, many might be wondering what they can do to feel more secure," said Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support with Country Financial.
In the meantime, it seems like the old advice is still the best advice: Having an honest and open converstation about savings, your personal or family emergency preparedness and the realistic notion of a job loss can help make things more survivable if the worst happens.
Sadly, that doesn't create an atmosphere which particularly supports the notion of saving considerable amounts of income for the bigger issue - your own, in-all-likelihood-underfunded retirement - but at least a realistic investigation of setting up some emergency savings can get participants interested in saving more, or thinking about participating in a DC plan in the first place.