36% Have Saved Less Than $1K for Retirement
Yet more of us are feeling secure about retirement
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 18, 2014 9:11 AM CDT
Some 36% of working Americans have less than $1,000 stored up for retirement, a survey finds.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A new survey offers a look at Americans' retirement savings, and two somewhat conflicting points stand out: Some 36% of us have less than $1,000 saved for our golden years, yet a higher proportion are feeling very confident they can retire in comfort. That $1,000 doesn't factor in respondents' primary residences or any set benefit plans (like pensions), USA Today notes. But "what's really striking is that 73% of those without a retirement plan, such as an IRA, 401(k) or 403(b), have less than $1,000 in savings and investments," says the survey's co-author.

Some 60% have less than $25,000 saved up, and just 44% have even calculated how much they'll need in retirement. The cost of daily life is holding people back from saving, they say. Still, confidence figures are improving. Last year, just 13% felt very confident about retiring comfortably, the Los Angeles Times reports. But this year, the figure climbed to 18%, with 37% feeling somewhat confident. The upshot, per the survey authors: "This increased level of confidence does not appear to be founded on improved retirement preparations. In the aggregate, worker savings remain low, and only a minority appear to be taking basic steps to prepare for retirement." USA Today has detailed results from the survey of 1,000 workers and 501 retirees.

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Mar 19, 2014 2:52 PM CDT
As a freshman to get extra spending money I took a part time job as a security guard. I was assigned to a super market my first day. After about 2 hours I was walking down the aisles and noticed an elderly Caucasian women putting cans of tuna in her pocket. I stopped her and let her leave with two cans because she told me it was for her dinner. That moment changed my life and I have been saving for retirement ever since. I developed a phobia about growing old and penniless. Over the years I've found that more than a few of my elders have never saved money for their retirement, depending on the houses they owned to see them through. So it doesn't surprise me so few have literally planned for retirement because to be honest, I'm not so sure that most people believe they will make it to retirement.
Mar 19, 2014 10:56 AM CDT
Irresponsible people. I'm sure there are a good # of them bought unnecessary luxuries and then went sucking at the democrat teat once broke.
George Brock
Mar 19, 2014 5:55 AM CDT
The lack of education is one of the problems. Retirement planning should be taught in every school. Retirement planning and saving/investing has to become a priority for everyone. The key is to start saving/investing early in life, be consistent, take advantage of any employer matching plan, max out contributions when possible, eliminate debt, avoid risks with your nest egg and plan for multiple streams of income once retired (social security, pensions, dividends, part time work, etc.). There is a great deal of information about retirement available on the web. I use several sites including the site Retirement And Good Living which provides information on finances, health, retirement locations, part time work and also has a great blog of guest posts about a variety of retirement topics.