It figures that retirement anxiety spiked with the financial crisis, but take a look at this chart to see the depth of the problem, which extends both before and beyond the jump in 2008. Numbers reported in a Gallup poll released today show that a majority of non-retired Americans--53 percent--responded "no" when asked if they would have enough money to live comfortably in retirement, a large increase from the 32 percent of people who answered similarly in 2002.
On one hand, the opinions tracked by the chart above are obviously connected to the financial swings in the country's economic picture at large: notice the decline of optimism about retirement in 2008 and 2009, as savings and finances in the country took a big hit. But after a brief recovery of the numbers in 2010, it's interesting that attitudes have once again declined this year regarding retirement, despite other positive indicators of a recovery at large. Consider though, that this also comes at a time when the long-term status of the social programs targeted toward the elderly are increasingly at the center of political debates.