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Group of people Despite recent market fluctuations, Americans are optimistic about their retirement chances. (Photo: Shutterstock)

(Bloomberg) –Americans are looking forward to resting their bones. A University of Michigan index measuring whether they see a comfortable retirement — compared with five years ago — reached the highest level since December 2000 this month.

Despite recent market fluctuations, years of gains in equities have boosted the value of household retirement accounts: The S&P 500 Index has more than doubled since the survey’s last high through Feb. 14, and more than quadrupled since its recession low in March 2009. Take a look at the chart below.

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