Brendan Byrnes: What do we see about the differences between retirees and what you call the “working mass affluent,” as far as their finances go? What’s the difference there?

Linda Shelby: One difference, again, is in optimism. The retirees are finding that they feel more comfortable about their ability to have enough funds to last their lifetime, to continue the lifestyle the way that they want to live it.

They’re feeling more confident about those areas, where the people who are nearing retirement aren’t feeling that way yet. Interestingly, 60% are still counting on using public programs to help aid their retirement, such as Social Security and Medicare. Even more interestingly, people who are 20 years away from retirement are still counting on that at a rate of about 70%.

Even knowing what we know about Medicare/Social Security, they’re still counting on that as something that’s going to help them through.

Brendan Byrnes has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools oon't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.