The recession has prompted more people to worry about proper retirement planning, according to a new survey.

The survey of over 1,000 Americans with living parents, by Country Financial, found that 51 percent of those familiar with their parents’ finances say they are thinking more seriously about their own retirement planning after watching the recession's impact on their parents. What they learned likely could be put to good use, given 71 percent of those surveyed believe they will experience a similar recession by the time they reach their parents' age.

"The recession is a wake-up call for many Americans and their response is an appropriate one," said Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning at Country Financial. "By preparing for and navigating an economic downturn with smart planning, they are more likely to take the actions needed to achieve financial security no matter where they are starting from."

However, while Americans may have an increased focus on their finances, they are not necessarily upbeat when it comes to their golden years. Six in 10 of the survey respondents think their financial situation in retirement will be the same (31 percent) or worse (29 percent) compared to their parents. This sentiment is even more pronounced among those in the 40- to 49-year-old age group, with 67 percent saying their financial situation will be the same or worse than their parents.

Overall, four in 10 of the survey respondents said it is very (19 percent) or somewhat likely (22 percent) they will have to help their retired parents financially. And, for the so called "Sandwich Generation," four in 10 who have children at home think they will have to provide financial help to their parents. These competing priorities emphasize the need to plan ahead.

Women (56 percent) are more likely than men (44 percent) to say they're thinking more seriously about their finances after watching their parents endure the recession. However, they are more pessimistic about the state of their financial situation once they reach retirement. Thirty-five percent of the women surveyed say their finances will be worse than their parents', compared to just 28 percent of the men.

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