Phoenix, Arizona (NAPSI) - Will you have enough savings to last throughout all your retirement years? If this question is the source of many sleepless nights or one you would rather ignore altogether, you are not alone.

In fact, a majority of Americans nearing their retirement years are lacking confidence in their financial preparations, according to the latest research by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI).

There are numerous reasons for the confidence shortfall. For one, preparing for retirement can be a challenging process. Experts say longer life spans, uncertainty with Social Security and Medicare, changes in employee benefits, and the rising cost of health care have placed the burden of funding retirement squarely on the shoulders of consumers.

But according to IRI President and CEO Cathy Weatherford, a little planning today can make a big difference tomorrow. Crafting a holistic retirement plan including a strategy for attaining retirement income-income that will last as long as you live-will lead to more confidence in your financial future.

That’s why the National Retirement Planning Coalition, a group of prominent consumer education organizations and financial industry leaders, spearheaded by IRI, organizes National Retirement Planning Week®. This year’s event will run April 7-11. During this time, Americans are urged to develop, review and update their retirement plans.

To get started, the coalition offers a variety of retirement planning resources, which are available for free at These resources range from retirement planning worksheets to interactive retirement tools and calculators. The website also features a series of educational tip sheets on topics such as Social Security, budgeting basics, investing, asset management, longevity risk and health care.

Americans needing additional assistance are encouraged to consult a financial professional. Advisors can assist in creating a holistic retirement plan, and in the process, build consumers’ confidence in their retirement plans.