4 of 10 Americans Can't Afford to Retire

The impossible dream

This is freakin’ unbelievable.
4 out of 10 Americans have retirement savings of less than $10,000. Nearly 3 of 10 Americans have retirement savings of less than $1,000. Social security was never meant to cover all our expenses in retirement; social security was conceived from the beginning to be a mere supplement. All of which means that many Americans will have to continue to work in their “golden” years, assuming they can find work.
This, together with our national debt of more than $14 trillion which will balloon even more under Obama, means hard times ahead. And for those of us who have been responsible in planning and saving for our retirement, it’s “hold your ankles and bend over.”

43% have less than $10k for retirement

By Chavon Sutton – March 9, 2010
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — The percentage of American workers with virtually no retirement savings grew for the third straight year, according to a survey released Tuesday. The percentage of workers who said they have less than $10,000 in savings grew to 43% in 2010, from 39% in 2009, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s annual Retirement Confidence Survey. That excludes the value of primary homes and defined-benefit pension plans.
Workers who said they had less than $1,000 jumped to 27%, from 20% in 2009.
Confidence in ability to save enough for a comfortable retirement hovered at 16% of respondents, the second lowest point in the 20-year history of the survey.
“Americans’ attitudes toward retirement have clearly tracked the economy the last couple of years, and that seems to be the case in 2010,” said Jack VanDerhei, EBRI’s research director and co-author of the survey, in a statement.
The percentage of workers who said they have saved for retirement fell to 69%, from 75% in 2009.
While VanDerhei attributed the decline in current savings rates to job losses, mortgage problems and the suspension of corporate 401(k) matches in 2009, he said the economy isn’t entirely to blame. “In previous years, there were a whole lot of people who had nothing to begin with,” said VanDerhei.
The gap between what Americans have saved and what they’d need for retirement is forcing workers to prolong their working years. According to the survey, 24% of workers said they have postponed their planned retirement age in the past year, up from 14% in 2008.
But even as fears over health care costs and job prospects mount, the survey found that only 46% of workers have tried to calculate what they need for a comfortable standard of living in their golden years. “People just don’t want to think about this,” said VanDerhei. “Everybody thinks they’re too young to think about it, until suddenly they’re too old to do anything about it.”
In general, financial planners say that retirement savings, including Social Security benefits and pension, should be large enough to provide about 80% of pre-retirement income. To reach that target, “most Americans need to be saving within the healthy range of 6% – 10% (of their salary),” said Beth McHugh, vice president of workplace investing for Fidelity Investments. But the survey found that 54% of the workers with some form of savings said that they have less than $25,000 stowed away.
Delaying retirement, though not ideal, is a good sign that people are finally facing reality. “People have figured out that they don’t have enough money,” VanDerhei said. “Still, I’d rather they bite the bullet today, rather than take the chance that they’d have a job when they are 65.”
The EBRI surveyed 1,153 U.S. workers and retirees, age 25 and older, in January. 

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6 Comment authors
jayDoc's WifeEowynWillJoan Recent comment authors
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No worries…Obama’s gonna pay your mortgage and give you entitlements for life! Yeah, NOT.


What is really unjust is that most of us will never receive our supplemental social security benefits, because the government has stolen from this trust fund for so many years. Awful.


I had about 5k tucked away in my ING account but that quickly went into auto/house repairs. unless you are making a boat load of money (which I’m not) or have a spouse who can help share the cost (which I don’t) there is no way to seriously save cash for retirement. All I have is a life insurance policy so God forbid if something happens I wont be a burden to my immediate family.


I hear you Steve. Since getting hit with a pay cut I learned to do without a few things, things I really enjoy like my issues of Super-Chevy magazine or Chevy Hi-performance (Hey I only read it for the articles 😉 ) Just saving that 10 bucks alone can go back into my gas tank. Kind of suck though I don’t splurge on anything I pay my bills and maintain both my vehicles and I figured hell at least I can treat myself to a lousy car mag but things are so tight now even buying car magazines is now… Read more »


Ha we have the same thing here at Food-Lion it’s nice to see what is saved after purchase and better times are coming its called 2010 and 2012!
Side note its sounds like you are back to normal (relative term for us nuts 😉 ) Good to have you back in the swing of things.


We shop at Aldi’s occasionally, they undercut Walmart SuperStore on everything they offer. The new Buck Double is probably the most powerful Beef fix on the market..$1 ketchup and mustard with pickle roasted patties..imo. Healthcare at 300 dollar a month for supplemental coverage was never on the chalkboard when I grew up…It is a sad day in the Empire when our Euro cousins laugh at the greed machines that control our everyday lives here in the US. After some consideration, I tend to agree with most of their sentiment. Slaves to mortgages, bombarded by merchandisers at every turn,( I love… Read more »