The annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS) was released recently and shows 1 in 4 workers surveyed have less than $1,000 saved for their retirement. The RCS, published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, measures statistics taken from 1,000 individuals aged 25 and over about their retirement confidence, planning strategies, and savings amounts. The survey’s results show a disconnect between US worker confidence in their ability to retire comfortably and their actual preparedness.
When asked if they would “have enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years,” 69% said they were “not too” or “not at all stressed”, while 31% said they were “very” or “somewhat stressed.”
Small Nest Egg
Although the overall confidence level is mid-to-high for the majority of American workers, their lack of savings preparation is obvious. Out of those surveyed, almost an equal percentage said they “have saved” (61%) and/or are “currently saving” (56%) for retirement.
It’s no surprise more people who have retirement plans have saved, or are currently saving more on average for their retirement. The study looked at a savings range from “less than $1,000” to “$250,000 or more.” Data showed a wide range of amounts, but with spikes at both ends of the spectrum: those with little savings and those with significant amounts (i.e. $250,000 or more).
Overall, 47% of workers report that the total value of their household’s savings and investments, excluding the value of their primary home and pension plans, is less than $25,000. This includes 24% who say they have less than $1,000 in savings.
Filling the Retirement Gap
Saving about 10% of your annual income for retirement is what most financial advisors suggest. However, a minority percentage of every age group of RCS respondents haven’t estimated their retirement expenses while an even smaller percentage have talked with a financial advisor.
The fact that a good chunk of American workers are neither saving nor consulting experts about their retirement suggests a coming crisis as the population continues to age. The Social Security Administration estimates the program is only fully fundable until 2034. After that, funding will fall to three-quarters. Those 25-year-old workers will be 42 when this occurs. The 24% of workers with minimal savings will be squeezed, along with a failing social net, to find enough money to live.
Added to this bad financial scenario is the continued devaluation of the dollar by central banking monetary policies and a growing stock market bubble. The coming monetary crisis will again decimate American 401k’s, making financing retirement even harder. Moving retirement plans into safer commodities like gold and silver or gold IRAs can help guard against these financial dangers.
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