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No retirement savings? Join the crowd


A new survey, the 2007 Retirement Confidence Survey, finds that many are not saving for their retirement future.

The survey, conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Matthew Greenwald & Associates, finds that almost half of the workforce has less than $25,000 in retirement savings; a number that is not even close to covering retirement.

The survey showed that twenty-five percent have no savings at all, thirty-four percent have savings, but none for retirement, and forty percent are not currently saving for retirement.

Those conducting the survey were not surprised that workers aged 25 to 34 were the lowest group of savers, but were more concerned that half of those aged 35 to 44 had less than $25,000 saved for retirement and a third of those aged 45 to 55 and over had less than $25,000. Sixty-eight percent of the youngest group had less than $25,000 saved for retirement.

The survey also found that the expectations and financial projections of current workers fell short of future financial reality. Many felt that they would need only five times what they are making now to live comfortably during retirement – 30% of those surveyed – and 27% felt they would need five to ten times as much. Yet, EBRI estimates that men will need at least twelve times their current income for retirement and women, due to their higher life expectancy, will need around fourteen times what they are currently making.

It appeared that many felt they would enjoy the benefits of Social Security, employer-paid health insurance, and sixty-two percent felt they would receive a pension that would help them through the later years. What they failed to acknowledge was the uncertainty of future health benefits and economic security.

Experts say, while it is challenging to project for certain how much money will be needed to survive during retirement years, contributing to a 401k and building a large nest egg will help. They also agree that although there are ways to figure out a rough estimate of money needed during retirement, there are always unforeseen circumstances that will arise, such as health and disability of one’s self and family, investment odds, lifestyle habits and ever increasing inflation. It is also impossible to project one’s life expectancy.

Many experts suggest that current workers save eighty percent of their current income, before retirement. They also state that with inflation, this still might not be enough. Workers are suggested to take Social Security benefits, employer salary matching and investments into consideration, although a long-term health crisis or changes in Social Security benefits could be potentially draining to one’s retirement fund.



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