Most Americans Unprepared For Retirement

Yogi Berra (Hall of Fame catcher) once said: “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.”

He could have been talking about retirement.  Most American workers aren’t financially ready for retirement, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual Retirement Confidence Survey.

The survey found that:

  • 43% of workers say they have less than $10,000 in savings (up from 39% last year).

That shocks me. Who can retire on $10,000?  It gets even more shocking, if that’s possible.

  • 27% of workers said they had less than $1000 in savings.

Financial planners say you should have enough stashed away to provide about 80% of what your income was before retirement. Getting there is the tough part. It depends on how long before you retire and how much you set aside.

Maybe we just want to be clueless about retirement. The survey also found that:

  • only 46% of workers have tried to calculate what they need for a comfortable standard of living during retirement.

Jack VanDerhei (EBRI’s research director and co-author of the survey) says in a statement: “People just don’t want to think about this. Everybody thinks they’re too young to think about it, until suddenly they’re too old to do anything about it.”

That harsh retirement reality check hits workers when they realize that they just don’t have enough money, so they’re delaying retirement and working longer.

In fact, 33% of workers expect to retire after age 65. That’s triple the number back in 1991.

Maybe Yogi put it best when he said: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”

Here’s an interview today on the subject with Stan Rickner, a financial analyst with Seasons Financial Group:

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