A recent survey by Ameriprise Financial compared what people say with what they do and it turns out a lot of people need to do more.
As the economy continues to rebound, many Americans are feeling better about their financial future. The study found that significantly more people believe they're on track for retirement now than last year: 42 percent expressed confidence that they're financially prepared.
And that's good, but maybe not justified.
Andrea Singleton, a certified financial planner with Ameriprise here in Seattle, says some other numbers in this survey don't seem to justify that optimism. That's because fewer people than last year are actually doing something to prepare for retirement, such as contribute to a 401(k) or IRA.
"It does make you wonder whether there's a gap in understanding about how much needs to be done to prepare for retirement," Singleton said.
According to the survey, only 23 percent of adult Americans have calculated how much they'll need to save for retirement. How can you know if you really are on track if you don't run the numbers?
Ameriprise surveyed 10,000 people in 30 major metropolitan areas for this report. They combined the results for people's confidence and financial readiness to create the City Pulse Index for 2013.
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Detroit and Hartford-New Haven took the top three spots. Minneapolis-St.Paul is No. 4 and Seattle checks in at No. 5 up from 13 last year. Los Angeles and Orlando came in at the bottom of the list.
Americans more confident about retirement, but not necessarily financially prepared
Herb Weisbaum is The ConsumerMan. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter or visit The ConsumerMan website.