Wednesday, October 22, 2014

One Third of Middle-Class Americans Not Saving for Retirement

Thirty-four percent of middle-class Americans are not currently contributing to any sort of retirement savings vehicle, according to the fifth annual Wells Fargo Middle-Class Retirement study. Of the middle-class Americans between the ages of 50 and 59, 41% are not currently saving for retirement. Thirty-one percent of all respondents and 48% of respondents in their 50s say they will not have enough money to “survive” on in retirement. The study was based on 1,001 telephone interviews from July 20 to August 25, 2014 of middle-class Americans between the ages of 25 and 75 with a median household income of $63,000.

Joe Ready, the director of Institutional Retirement and Trust said:

Saving for retirement isn’t easy. It requires sacrifice, and it’s not something people can push off and hope to achieve later in life. If people in their 20s, 30s or 40s aren’t saving today, they are losing the benefit of time compounding the value of their money. That growth can’t be made up later, so people have to commit early in life to make savings a regular discipline year after year – it is the only way most people will achieve their financial goals to carry them through retirement.

While 61% of middle-class Americans admit they are not sacrificing “a lot” to save for retirement, 72% say they should have started earlier, up from 65% in 2013. More than half of respondents surveyed said they would cut spending “tomorrow” in certain areas in order to save for retirement, mainly in areas such as spa treatments, jewelry, impulse purchases, eating out at restaurants, or even major purchases such as a car, a computer, or a home renovation. Fewer people (38%) said they would forgo a vacation to save for retirement.

Respondents with a 401(k), 70% of those surveyed, have been able to save more than those without a 401(k), particularly among those who are younger. Respondents in their 20s with 401(k)s have saved a median of $10,000 more than those without. The savings difference between those who have access to a 401(k) and those who do not have access is $34,000 for those in their 30s and $40,000 for those in their 40s.

Read the Wells Fargo news release.

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