Minneapolis (April 6, 2004) -- Sixty percent of Americans that work for companies offering a retirement plan are experiencing moderate to high levels of financial stress, while one-fifth of those surveyed felt that their financial stress has increased in the last 18 to 24 months, according to a survey by American Express Retirement Services.

The most common sources of stress cited by respondents were saving enough for retirement, dealing with debt, paying regular bills, education expenses for their children, and current pay levels, according to the 2004 National Survey on Financial Stress and Retirement Saving.

The findings are similar to figures from a 2002 survey, when 61 percent of working Americans indicated they were experiencing moderate to high levels of financial stress, and one quarter felt that their financial stress became worse. The 2004 survey also found that, as in 2002, financial stress continues to prompt many workers to look for more assistance with their retirement plan saving and their overall financial situation.

The 2004 survey showed that 40 to 46 percent of those surveyed showed an interest in receiving comprehensive financial advice, advice on choosing among plan investment options, advice on accumulating money for retirement, and advice on how to use saved money for retirement income. Another 25 to 30 percent were interested in advice on 401(k) rollovers, investing in stocks, managing their stock options and saving for education.

-- WebCPA staff

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