71% Of Americans Aren’t Saving Enough For Retirement
It’s not difficult to find a financial expert who can issue dire warnings about the state of retirement savings in the U.S. As a country we aren’t saving enough, fast enough.
But now it appears the message has really sunk in.
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A full 71% of Americans say they do not have enough retirement savings, according to a new national survey commissioned by Experian in collaboration with Get Rich Slowly and other top personal finance blogs. Making matters worse, more than half, or 54 percent, believe they will never pay off their debt fully.
“Lack of adequate savings and lingering debt provides a double-whammy of bad news for future retirement – and consumers are smart enough to know it,” said Katie Ryan O’Connor, an editor Get Rich Slowly, a site that has been encouraging people to save and invest for the past decade. “But the key thing here is not to panic. No matter how young or old you are, there are measures you can take that will have a positive impact now and in the future.”
Get Rich Slowly offers concrete steps consumers can take right away, starting with increasing their 401(k) contributions. It’s obvious advice that is still ignored by many. According to Vanguard’s influential How America Saves 2016 study, one-third of “defined contribution” plan participants deferred 4% or less of their pay and median deferral rates have remain basically unchanged since 2006. Other tips include taking a long, hard look at whether you are risking your retirement to save your children a student loan burden, something that may have all the best of intentions but could be a dangerous trade-off.
More from the survey:
- 43 percent of Americans feel more secure in their finances than last year
- A majority (58 percent) feel the same or less secure than before.
- Lack of income and funds are considered the main reasons for financial woes, not fiscal behavior
- Financial education is the key to debt reduction and increased savings
- 49 percent have credit card debt
- 46 percent have less savings today than they expected they would five years ago
- 39 percent say they have a hard time finding financial education resources
“While some consumers are on a good path with their finances, others are struggling. The best way to improve your situation is to become more educated about managing money and debt,” said Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian. “That is why resources like personal finance blogs are so beneficial. You can read timely information and real life stories from experts and peers on everything from understanding credit to learning how to invest.”