Fewer than two in 10 American workers say they are very confident that their golden years will be financially secure, according to a survey...

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Fewer than two in 10 American workers say they are very confident that their golden years will be financially secure, according to a survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

That figure represents a sharp decline — from 27 percent in 2007 to 18 percent in 2008 — the largest in the 18-year history of the survey.

Respondents said they were less sure about having enough for basic expenses, long-term care and medical needs.

“Workers may be waking up to the lack of health insurance in retirement,” the group said in a statement.

The survey was conducted in January, as the stock market was on its way to its worst monthly performance since September 2002.

Sixteen percent of workers — up from 10 percent in 2007 — said they were “not at all confident” in having a financially secure retirement.

Not all the results were grim. The survey found that retirees were moved to act after determining a retirement-savings goal with an online calculator.

More than four in 10 workers who did so said they adjusted their retirement plan — and most started tucking away more savings in bank or investment accounts.

“Faulty assumptions still hinder a realistic assessment of the preparations needed to ensure a financially secure retirement,” the group said in a statement.

The study was also sponsored by the American Savings Education Council and the market research firm Matthew Greenwald & Associates.