News Column

Many have no savings to cover retirement

August 18, 2014

By Nanci Hellmich, @nancihellmich, USA TODAY

A third of people (36%) in the U.S. have nothing saved for retirement, a new survey shows.

In fact, 14% of people ages 65 and older have no retirement savings; 26% of those 50 to 64; 33%, 30 to 49; and 69%, 18 to 29, according to the survey of 1,003 adults, conducted for, a personal finance website.

"These numbers are very troubling because the burden for retirement savings is increasingly on us as individuals," says Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for "Regardless of your age, there is no better time than the present to start saving for your retirement. The key to a successful retirement is to save early and aggressively."

Other research confirms that many aren't saving enough for their golden years. About 36% of workers have less than $1,000 in savings and investments that could be used for retirement, not counting their primary residence or defined benefits plans such as traditional pensions, and 60% of workers have less than $25,000, according to a survey of 1,000 workers from the non-profit Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates.

Many people realize they are not on track, and the two most important reasons they give are cost of living and day-to-day expenses, says Jack VanDerhei, the institute's research director.

He advises people to join the 401(k) plan if employers offer one and to make sure to contribute enough to receive the maximum employer match. "Contributing anything less than that is leaving free money on the table," he says. survey findings:

•24% are less comfortable with their debt than a year ago; 23% are more comfortable.

•Job security, net worth and overall financial situation are areas in which people have seen improvement over one year ago.

•32% of people are less comfortable with their overall savings now than they were a year ago; 16% are more comfortable.

"Many people know they are undersaved, whether it's for emergencies, retirement or both," McBride says.

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Source: USA Today

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