You may not feel this way, what with the economy still limping along and your retirement portfolio still lagging. But Minneapolis-St. Paul ranks number one in terms of retirement confidence and number three in terms of preparation, according to Ameriprise Financial's 2010 City Pulse Index. The index looked at the retirement savings and planning of 30 metropolitan areas.
Let's take a look at how the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area compared to the rest of the nation:
In terms of retirement savings: 83 percent of Minneapolis-St. Paul residents said they've set money aside for retirement, compared to 69 percent nationwide.
In terms of retirement confidence: 48 percent of Minneapolis-St. Paul residents said they feel on track for retirement and 32 percent say they're highly confident in reaching retirement goals, compared to 38 percent of respondents nationwide who felt on track for retirement and 24 percent who felt confident that retirement goals will be met.
We lag behind on the non-financial stuff: Twin Cities residents are less likely to have thought about how they plan to spend their retirement years. So we'll have the money, but what are we going to do with it? Another interesting tidbit: Most aren't planning to high-tail it out of here - seven in 10 say they plan to spend their retirement years here. Blame the grandkids.
In terms of planning: Three in 10 Twin Cities residents have determined how much money they need to save for in retirement compared to two in 10 nationwide.
That last statistic is downright scary. I know it's a drag having to figure out how much is needed for retirement. It's such a nebulous concept and so much can change between the time you start planning and the day your co-workers get you a sheet cake. But with pensions losing dominance and the likelihood that stocks won't grow as quickly as financial planners used to expect in the late '90s, figuring out your retirement nest egg needs is more important than ever.
If you don't work with a financial planner, try out the Ballpark E$timate calculator at Choose to Save. There are several retirement planning calculators at dinkytown.net too. Finally, your 401(k) retirement provider should also have a calculator on its Website.
So why does the Twin Cities metro come out on top? We have higher median incomes and investable assets than the nation. ($63,000 and $114,000 compared to $58,000 and $65,000 nationwide). But is there something else? This area often ranks highly in financial surveys. Is it the Lake Wobegon effect? We're just above average?