Significantly more people in the New York region believe it is more likely the Yankees will win the World Series before they reach 65 than believe they will be able to retire at age 65, no matter how old the person is now.

That is only one of the unusual revelations that emerged from a survey about retirement attitudes done by Wells Fargo and Market Probe, a market research firm located in Evanston, Ill.

The survey showed some significant differences between metropolitan regions around the nation versus the nation as a whole, and between the attitudes of men and women when it comes to retirement.

It seems three times more pre-retirees think the Yankees will win the World Series before they turn 65 (75%) than think they will be able to retire at 65 (25%). The sentiment holds true, although the percentages change, even when broken down by age.

For those 25 to 49 years of age, 80% have more faith in the Yankees, while 19% think they will stop working at the standard retirement age. For those nearer retirement, ages 50 to 64, 62% still think the Yankees will win the World Series before they reach 65 than believe they can retire at that age.
The survey included 368 residents of the New York area, which includes parts of northern New Jersey and Connecticut and an additional 1,190 from the rest of the nation.

Of the New York pre-retirees, 55% say they will stay in the area when they retire while 32% say they are moving. New York rates low for those willing to stay put, ranking only above Washington, D.C., where only 38% of the residents are likely to stay put. For other major metropolitan areas, Miami ties with New York at 55%, but Los Angeles County and Houston will retain 62% of their residents and Chicago will retain 65%.

People across the country regard family and friends as the major reason for remaining in an area, with 77% of New York pre-retirees ranking it highest among their reasons for staying, compared with 88% of those nationwide.

Being located near good medical facilities also is a consideration for 52% of those in the New York area, where 85% of the respondents say medical facilities are above average or among the best in the country.

When it comes to what they will live on in retirement no matter where they live, New York area residents are more pessimistic than those in the rest of the nation. Only 46% of pre-retirees in New York think they will have enough saved by the time they retire to live the lifestyle they want throughout retirement, while nationally the percentage is 53%.

There is a wide gap between retirees and pre-retirees regarding work. "At least nine out of 10 retirees are either fully retired and do not work anymore or work only because they want to and not out of any financial need," the survey says.

"Compared to retirees, pre-retirees have a very different expectation of their retirement, as at least 41% expect they will need to work, either to afford the things they want in retirement and maintain their lifestyle, or just to make ends meet," according to the survey. In New York, the percentage of pessimists is even higher at 50%.

Nationally and in New York, the biggest fear expressed by pre-retirees by almost half the people surveyed was that they would do everything right now but still not have enough to retire on, the survey shows.

Significant differences are exhibited between the attitudes of men and woman when it comes to what to do about potential savings shortfalls. For women, 52% of the pre-retirees nationally are willing to cut back on spending while 39% of women retirees agree. For men, 40% of pre-retirees are willing to cut back while for retirees the number drops to 22%.

The largest number fear not being able to pay their day-to-day bills. For women, the percentage is 31%; for men, 24%.

The majority of those who have a 401(k) available participate in it (85%) but 82% of those people want more support from employers in providing personal investment advice and 48% feel the amount of the contribution should increase by 1% a year automatically.

Men and women show different views of the federal deficit, too, with only 10% of women nationally willing to take a cut in Social Security or Medicare to help reduce the federal deficit, while 31% of men were willing to do so.

In addition, "men are significantly more likely than women to feel confident that the stock market is a good place to invest for retirement" with 28% of women feeling totally confident and nearly twice as many men (51%) sharing that view.

--Karen DeMasters