Potential investors have cold feet about retirement planning

They may have the motivation, and even have the money, but more than a third of American pre-retirees say they're simply overwhelmed by the process.

A new survey conducted by E*Trade in association with Harris Interactive indicates there are lots of great intentions when it comes to retirement planning and the basics of investing, but a sizeable percentage of American workers are frozen in their tracks when it comes to getting the process started.

The survey found that 37 percent of participants say they're interested in working with a professional to help manage their retirement accounts, but don't think that they have enough savings or investments to justify getting the assistance.

Some 32 percent say they have yet to roll over a 401(k) from a former employer because they find the process too confusing, intimidating or time-consuming; 41 percent said they believe that opening an IRA account takes too much time, and 56 percent said they believe managing an IRA requires more financial know-how than they currently have.

Opinions (and actions) on 401(k) plans were even more vague: 32 percent who currently have a 401(k) are not confident it will ever grow enough to meet their retirement needs, 28 percent don't review their statements or have difficulty at present to keep track of their account performance, and 21 percent do not know what fees are being charged as part of their 401(k).

The upshot? In E*Trade's universe, they've offered investors access to rollover specialists and the company's indigenous OneStop Rollover program, aimed at individual investors with at least $25,000 in a previous employer's 401(k).



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